Despite her brand being one of inclusivity and body positivity, Lizzo has been beset with accusations that she made her dancers feel uncomfortable while working with her. In a lawsuit they filed earlier this month, they accused her of forcing them to touch nude dancers during a show in Amsterdam when they didn’t want to, that her dance captain Shirlene Quigley forced Christianity on them, and that she created a hostile work environment.
Dancers Arianna Davis, Noelle Rodriguez and Crystal Williams, also claimed that despite being hired because they were plus-size, that they were then shamed for their weight.
But Lizzo, born Melissa Jefferson, 35, is denying the claims. This week, her lawyer Marty Singer shared a photo with People of the dancers in the lawsuit smiling with the performers at Bananenbar. He says that the dancers continued on the tour after the incident they cited in the lawsuit. According to him, Davis also submitted an audition tape for Lizzo’s Prime Video reality show Watch Out For The Big Grrrls.
Per Singer, “After Ms. Davis’s audition video became public, she tried to explain away her glowing comments about Lizzo by claiming the ‘bulk’ of her accusations were based on things that happened later. That excuse is completely contradicted by the facts, including by these images.”
Singer characterized the lawsuit as “bogus” citing “substantial evidence” in Lizzo’s favor and said that she “intends to sue for malicious prosecution after she prevails and these specious claims are dismissed.”
Lizzo answered the claims in a social media post, saying that she wanted to respond to the “outrageous accusations.” She said in the post, “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.”
She added, “With passion comes hard work and high standards. 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.”
In response to Singer, Neama Rahmani, one of a team of lawyers the dancers hired, said the dancers remained employed because they needed the work.
“The plaintiffs merely wanted to keep their jobs until they finally had enough. Arianna, Noelle and Crystal were brave enough to come out with their stories and they don’t plan to back down in the face of these bullying tactics by Lizzo’s attorney. Our clients remain steadfast and look forward to their day in court.”
It was revealed this week that Lizzo’s company settled with 14 other dancers who said they weren’t properly compensated for work they did in her Max doc Love Lizzo. They alleged that a conversation about their challenges as plus-size dancers was shared privately but it ended up in the doc without their permission.
After a lawsuit was threatened by one of the dancers shown, they were awarded a private settlement from Boardwalk Pictures, an entity owned by Lizzo, and other parties. The permissions were gained and the dancers were compensated for their appearance. None of the dancers in that case are part of the latest lawsuit. “Lizzo had nothing to do with it and knew nothing about it,” Singer said.
Lizzo Lawyer Says She Will Countersue Dancers Citing ‘Malicious Prosecution’ was originally published on cassiuslife.com
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