Lizzo responds to sexual harassment lawsuit: “I’m hurt”

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Lizzo responds to sexual harassment lawsuit: "I'm hurt"

Lizzo has issued an announcement after being accused of partaking in sexual harassment and making a hostile working surroundings amongst different allegations.

The ‘Special’ pop star is being sued by three of her former backup dancers – Arianna Davis, Crystal Williams and Noelle Rodriguez – in a lawsuit that names Lizzo, her manufacturing firm Large Grrrl Large Touring Inc., and her dance staff captain Shirlene Quigley as defendants.

  • READ MORE: Lizzo – ‘Special’ evaluate: joyful celebrity uplifts with confident, self-empowering bops 

It’s stated that every one three of the aforementioned performers named within the swimsuit danced for Lizzo till earlier this 12 months, when Davis and Williams had been fired earlier than Rodriguez resigned shortly afterwards.

Davis and Williams each competed on the truth TV present Watch Out For The Large Grrrls to win the prospect to hitch the singer/rapper’s troupe of backing dancers. Rodriguez, in the meantime, started dancing with Lizzo after showing within the ‘Rumors’ music video.

The alleged incident of sexual harassment supposedly occurred in a strip membership in Amsterdam, which Lizzo and her dancers visited after a live performance within the Dutch capital this February. The dancers allege that Lizzo bullied Davis into touching a nude performer, to the purpose the place she led a chant goading her into doing so till she finally gave in, regardless of declining a number of instances.

Moreover, the swimsuit states that Lizzo “began inviting cast members to take turns touching the nude performers, catching dildos launched from the performers’ vaginas, and eating bananas protruding from the performers’ vaginas”. It continues: “Lizzo then turned her attention to Ms. Davis and began pressuring Ms. Davis to touch the breasts of one of the nude women.”

Elsewhere, the three dancers accuse Lizzo of subjecting the group to an “excruciating” audition, following 12 hours of rehearsal after falsely accusing them of consuming alcohol on the job.

The swimsuit additionally alleges that Lizzo referred to as consideration to Davis’ weight acquire by telling her she was “less committed” to her function, in contradiction to the body-positive ethos the star promotes via her music and model.

Lizzo, whose actual identify is Melissa Viviane Jefferson, allegedly later berated and fired the dancer for recording a gathering due to a well being situation.

Lizzo performs dwell. CREDIT: Joseph Okpako/Getty Pictures

Right now (August 3), Lizzo has responded through an announcement on her official social media channels through which she claimed that the allegations are “false”.

“These last few days have been gut wrenchingly difficult and overwhelmingly disappointing,” the message started. “My work ethic, morals and respectfulness have been questioned. My character has been criticized.”

Lizzo continued: “Often I select not to reply to false allegations however these are as unbelievable as they sound and too outrageous to not be addressed.

“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: “As an artist I’ve all the time been very enthusiastic about what I do. I take my music and my performances significantly as a result of on the finish of the day I solely need to put out the most effective artwork that represents me and my followers.

“With ardour comes exhausting work and excessive requirements. Typically I’ve to make exhausting selections but it surely’s by no means my intention to make anybody really feel uncomfortable or like they aren’t valued as an essential a part of the staff.

“I am not here to be looked at as a victim, but I also know that I am not the villain that people and the media have portrayed me to be these last few days. I am very open with my sexuality and expressing myself but I cannot accept or allow people to use that openness to make me out to be something I am not.”

Lizzo went on: “There may be nothing I take extra significantly than the respect we deserve as ladies on this planet. I do know what it feels prefer to be physique shamed each day and would completely by no means criticize or terminate an worker due to their weight.

“I’m 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 in support to lift me up during this difficult time.”

The swimsuit additionally consists of allegations of spiritual and racial harassment, false imprisonment, interference with potential financial benefit and extra. Nonetheless, these claims don’t apply to all of the defendants within the case.

A certain amount for damages that cowl emotional misery, unpaid wages, lack of earnings and authorized charges has not been disclosed.

In an announcement supplied to NBC, the dancers’ lawyer Ron Zambrano stated: “The stunning nature of how Lizzo and her management team treated their performers seems to go against everything Lizzo stands for publicly, while privately she weight-shames her dancers and demeans them in ways that are not only illegal but absolutely demoralizing.”

Documentarian and photographer Sophia Nahli Allison has since stated that she stop a venture with Lizzo in 2019 after being “treated with such disrespect by her”.

“I witnessed how arrogant, self-centered, and unkind she is,” the Academy Award nominee wrote. “I was not protected and was thrown into a shitty situation with little support. My spirit said to run as fast as you fucking can and I’m so grateful I trusted my gut.”

NME has reached out to Lizzo’s representatives for remark relating to Allison’s declare. 

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