Lizzo Responds to Lawsuit Accusations Filed by Former Dancers

Just two days after three dancers filed a lawsuit against Lizzo, the artist responded to the allegations in a lengthy statement posted on her social media pages. Lizzo said she is “hurt” by the accusations, which include weight shaming and sexual harassment.

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“These last few days have been gut-wrenchingly difficult and overwhelmingly disappointing,” read the statement by Lizzo. “My work ethic, morals, and respectfulness have been questioned. Usually, I choose not to respond to false allegations but these are as unbelievable as they sound and too outrageous to not be addressed.”

She continued, “These sensationalized stories are coming from former employees who have already publicly admitted that they were told their behavior on tour was inappropriate and unprofessional. As an artist, I have always been very passionate about what I do. I take my music and my performances seriously because at the end of the day. I only want to put out the best art that represents me and my fans. With passion comes hard, work and high standards.”

In the lawsuit, filed on Tuesday (August 1), three former dancers for Lizzo accused the singer of sexual harassment and creating a hostile work environment. Filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, the suit also alleges that the artist called attention to the weight gain of one dancer, who was later fired.

Dancer Arianna Davis alleges that Lizzo and a choreographer brought attention to her weight gain during a South by Southwest music festival appearance and said that she seemed “less committed” to her work. Davis, along with dancer Crystal Williams, was later fired. Both started working with Lizzo after competing in the artist’s 2021 Amazon reality series, Watch Out for the Big Grrrls.

The third plaintiff, dancer Noelle Rodriguez, reportedly resigned in early 2023.

Accusations also stretched to Lizzo’s dance leader, Shirlene Quigley, with accusations spanning simulating oral sex, publicly speaking about one dancer’s virginity and ridiculing those who had premarital sex, proselytizing the plaintiffs, and sharing sexual fantasies.

The dancers also allege that Lizzo pressured one of them to touch a nude performer at Bananenbar, a strip club in Amsterdam, Netherlands and that she also allegedly pressured a member of her security to get on stage and yelled “Take it off,” according to the suit. Other claims in the lawsuit include false imprisonment, racial and religious harassment, and more.

[RELATED: Lizzo and Crew Sued for Weight Shaming, Sexual Harassment]

Each claim was not brought against every defendant listed in the lawsuit, including Lizzo, whose real name is Melissa Viviane Jefferson, her production company, Big Grrrl Big Touring, Inc., and Quigley.

“Sometimes I have to make hard decisions but it’s never my intention to make anyone feel uncomfortable, or like they aren’t valued as an important part of the team,” added Lizzo in her statement. She also said that she is not trying to be “looked at as a victim” but also said she is not the “villain” that she has been portrayed as in the media in the days following the lawsuit.

“There is nothing I take more seriously than the respect we deserve as women in the world,” concluded Lizzo. “I know what it feels like to be body shamed on a daily basis, and would absolutely never criticize or terminate an employee because of their weight.”

Lizzo added, “I am hurt, but I will not let the good work I’ve done in the world be overshadowed by this. I want to thank everyone who has reached out and support to lift me up during this difficult time.”

Photo: Kevin Winter/Getty Images for dcp

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