- Three former dancers have filed a lawsuit against singer Lizzo, accusing her of fostering a hostile work environment, sexual harassment, and other allegations. The dancers also accuse the dance team captain of proselytizing and publicly discussing a dancer’s virginity.
- The lawsuit alleges that Lizzo pressured one of them to touch a nude performer at an Amsterdam club, called attention to one dancer’s weight gain, and subjected the group to an intense audition after falsely accusing them of drinking on the job. The suit also includes charges of religious and racial harassment, false imprisonment, and interference with prospective economic advantage.
- Lizzo, known for promoting body positivity, and her team have not yet responded to the allegations. Lizzo did release a statement expressing her hurt and calling the claims “false,” “unbelievable,” and “outrageous.”
Three former dancers have brought forth allegations against popular singer, Lizzo, accusing her of sexual harassment and fostering a hostile work environment in a lawsuit filed on Tuesday.
The lawsuit alleges that Lizzo pressured one dancer to touch a nude performer at a club in Amsterdam, and subjected the entire group to an intense audition after falsely accusing them of drinking while working.
“Lizzo — a performer known for embracing body positivity and celebrating her physique — of calling attention to one dancer’s weight gain and later berating, then firing, that dancer after she recorded a meeting because of a health condition,” the suit alleges.
The lawsuit, which was filed in Los Angeles Superior Court and provided to NBC News by the plaintiffs’ law firm, further accuses the captain of Lizzo’s dance team of imposing her religious views on others, mocking those who had premarital sex, and publicly discussing one of the plaintiff’s virginity.
While the suit does not specify if Lizzo was aware of the allegations against the dance captain, Shirlene Quigley, the plaintiffs believe that the singer was informed about their complaints concerning her, according to their attorney, Ron Zambrano.
The lawsuit names Lizzo, whose real name is Melissa Viviane Jefferson, her production company, and Quigley as defendants.
The suit includes accusations of a hostile work environment, sexual harassment, religious and racial harassment, false imprisonment, and interference with prospective economic advantage, among other allegations.
However, not all claims were raised against each defendant.
“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,” Zambrano said in a statement.
Recounting one of the incidents, the suit claims Lizzo called out a dancer, Arianna Davis, over her weight after a South by Southwest (SXSW) music festival performance.
Later, Lizzo and her choreographer suggested to Davis that she seemed “less committed” to her role, a comment the suit describes as a “thinly veiled” concern about Davis’ weight.
Representatives for Lizzo and Quigley did not immediately respond to requests for comments.
Attempts to reach Lizzo’s production company, Big Grrrl Big Touring, Inc., were unsuccessful.
Lizzo addressed the suit’s allegations in a statement on Thursday morning, expressing her hurt and categorically calling the claims “false,” “unbelievable,” and “outrageous.”
The three dancers were associated with Lizzo following their participation in her Amazon reality show, “Watch Out for the Big Grrrls,” in 2021. They were later dismissed. One of the dancers, Noelle Rodriguez, resigned earlier this year.