Lizzo, whose real name is Melissa Viviane Jefferson, has been accused in a lawsuit by several former dancers of sexual harassment, creating a hostile workplace, religious and racial harassment, false imprisonment, and interference with prospective economic advantage, among other charges, per NBC News. The lawsuit was filed in Los Angeles on Tuesday. The suit names Lizzo, Shirlene Quigley (Lizzo's dance team's captain), and Lizzo's production company (Big Grrrl Big Touring, Inc.) as defendants.
The three dancers named as plaintiffs in the suit, Arianna Davis, Crystal Williams, and Noelle Rodriguez, charge, among other things, that while in a club in Amsterdam and during a sexually-themed show that Lizzo pressured Davis into touching one of the nude performers.
At the show, the suit states that "Lizzo began inviting cast members to take turns touching the nude performers. Finally, the chorus became overwhelming, and a mortified Ms. Davis acquiesced in an attempt to bring an end to the chants. Plaintiffs were aghast with how little regard Lizzo showed for the bodily autonomy of her employees and those around her, especially in the presence of many people whom she employed."
Lizzo accused of harassment in lawsuit brought by former dancers
The lawsuit also accuses Lizzo of criticizing Davis for gaining weight and stating this was a sign that Davis was not committed to her job. Davis was terminated in May for recording a meeting, without Lizzo's permission, during which Lizzo was giving out notes to dancers on some recent performances.
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Williams was fired in April after speaking in a meeting about Lizzo accusing some dancers of drinking before performances. The suit implies that Lizzo terminated Williams for disputing Lizzo's view of the drinking.
The reason Quiqley is named in the suit is that she is accused of sexual harassment and for speaking publicly about at least one dancer's virginity. The lawsuit says that Quigley criticized those that had premarital sex. but that Quigley would speak openly about her own sexual experiences.
We don't know how this lawsuit will go, of course. Lizzo could have done all that she is accused of or the dancers could simply be personally attacking her for some financial gain. There is no timeframe for the suit to be heard. But for Lizzo's fans, let's hope the suit is settled rather quickly and the complete truth is known.