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02nd Aug 2023

Lizzo accused of sexual harassment and weight-shaming by former dancers

Charlie Herbert

Lizzo sued

She has accused of pressuring one of the dancers into touching a nude performer in a nightclub.

Lizzo has been accused of sexual harassment and creating a hostile work environment by three of her former backup dancers.

The trio – Arianna Davis, Crystal Williams, and Noelle Rodriguez – have filed a lawsuit against the singer and made a number of claims against her, NBC News reports.

Davis and Williams began performing with Lizzo, real name Melissa Viviane Jefferson, in 2021 after competing on her reality show ‘Watch Out for the Big Grrrls’, but were both later fired.

Rodrigues joined the American’s dance team in the same year after performing in the video for her hit single ‘Rumours’, but quit earlier this year.

Among the allegations is that Lizzo pressured Davis into touching a nude performer at an Amsterdam nightclub. After Davis initially refused Lizzo’s invitation to “touch the nude performers,” the singer allegedly started a chant until she agreed to.

The 35-year-old is also accused of subjecting the dancers to an “excruciating” 12-hour rehearsal after falsely accusing them of drinking before performances.

The lawsuit states Davis was so worried she would lose her job if she left and went to the bathroom that she soiled herself.

The dancers also claim Lizzo made comments about one of them putting on weight, and that she fired Davis after she recorded a meeting because of an eye condition.

Williams was fired shortly after the 12-hour rehearsal incident. She claims this was because she spoke up in a meeting about Lizzo’s accusations of them drinking on the job.

Davis was sacked the next day after recording a meeting due to an eye condition. She claims she recorded the meeting so she could have a copy of Lizzo’s performance notes, but was apparently fired on the spot after being chastised for taking the recording.

After the meeting Rodriguez threatened to quit. She accuses Lizzo of raising both middle fingers and shouting a slur at her as she left.

Along with the claims against the singer, the group have also made a number of accusations against the captain of her dance team, Shirlene Quigley.

These include allegations of her trying to convert their religious beliefs, deriding those who had premarital sex, sharing sexual fantasies with the group and openly discussing the virginity of one of the complainants.

Multiple allegations brought against Lizzo

Along with the accusations of sexual harassment and creating a hostile working environment, the group have filed complaints of religious and racial harassment, false imprisonment, interference with prospective economic advantage and other allegations.

The plaintiff’s lawyer, Ron Zambrano, said the trio believe Lizzo was aware of their complaints about her. It is not known if the singer was aware of the allegations against Quigley.

The lawsuit does not specify how much the group want in damages to cover the emotional distress including unpaid wages, loss of earnings and attorney’s fees.

In recent years, Lizzo has become one of the most successful pop stars in the world, and is known for her messages of body positivity and confidence.

She has had eight UK Top 40 singles, and drew one of the biggest crowds of the weekend at this year’s Glastonbury as she performed on the Pyramid Stage.

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