Lizzo Denies Allegations of Assault and Weight Shaming From Former Dancers
Grammy award-winning singer Lizzo has come out strongly denying allegations made by former backup dancers in a lawsuit filed earlier this week. The dancers allege assault, emotional abuse, and weight shaming by the star during their time touring with her.
In an Instagram post, Lizzo said “I know what it feels like to be body shamed daily and would never criticize or terminate an employee because of their weight.” She went on to add that the allegations were coming from “former employees who have already publicly admitted that they were told their behavior on tour was inappropriate and unprofessional.”
Lawsuit Contains Serious Allegations
The lawsuit, filed in Los Angeles Superior Court on Tuesday, makes some shocking claims against the “Truth Hurts” singer. Dancers Crystal Williams, Arianna Davis, and Noelle Rodriguez allege Lizzo pressured Davis into interacting with a nude performer at a club in Amsterdam, harassed them over their weight, and created a toxic work environment.
Lizzo’s dance captain Shirlene Quigley was also named in the suit, accused of simultaneously shaming the dancers for premarital sex while also making explicit sexual comments herself.
Attorney Ron Zambrano, representing the dancers, said in a statement “How Lizzo and her management team treated their performers seems to go against everything Lizzo stands for publicly.”
Lizzo: “I Am Not the Villain”
In her Instagram response, Lizzo made it clear she would not stand to be portrayed as a victim or a villain. She wrote, “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.”
The singer acknowledged the allegations had been difficult and disappointing, saying “My work ethic, morals and respectfulness have been questioned.”
Lizzo maintained her passion for her music and performances, and her desire to only put out quality work representing herself and her fans. She did admit to having to make hard decisions at times but stated she never intended to make anyone feel uncomfortable or undervalued.
Filmmaker Also Alleges Poor Treatment
On the heels of the dancer’s lawsuit, filmmaker Sophia Nahli Allison took to Instagram to claim she had a similarly negative experience working briefly with Lizzo in 2019. Allison says she “walked away after about two weeks” of traveling with Lizzo to direct a documentary, due to being treated with “such disrespect.”
Allison described Lizzo as “arrogant, self-centered and unkind” and said she felt unprotected and unsupported during her time with the pop star.
The allegations from Allison and Lizzo’s former dancers paint a very different picture from the body-positive, uplifting image the singer portrays publicly. Lizzo maintains that she is not the villain she is being portrayed as. For now, her word stands against some very concerning allegations of mistreatment. The lawsuit will likely be closely watched as the legal process moves forward.