Lizzo Denies Former Dancers' Allegations In Sexual Harassment Lawsuit

Lizzo called the allegations of weight-shaming, sexual harassment and a hostile work environment "false," saying "these are as unbelievable as they sound."

Lizzo has denied allegations brought by three former backup dancers who claim in a lawsuit that she physically threatened, weight-shamed and sexually harassed them.

“My work ethic, morals and respectfulness have been questioned,” Lizzo wrote in a statement posted to social media Thursday. “My character has been criticized. Usually I choose not to respond to false allegations but these are as unbelievable as they sound and too outrageous to not be addressed.”

Lizzo said these “sensationalized” stories from ex-staffers — who she claims “already publicly admitted” they were reprimanded for “inappropriate” behavior on tour — have been “gut wrenchingly difficult” to endure and “overwhelmingly disappointing.”

The plaintiffs, dancers Arianna Davis, Crystal Williams and Noelle Rodriguez, filed the suit Tuesday accusing Lizzo of fostering a hostile work environment, sexual, religious and racial harassment, assault, false imprisonment and more.

Among other claims, Rodriguez said in the suit that Lizzo fired her on the spot and threatened physical violence after the singer found out she recorded a meeting.

The lawsuit further alleges Lizzo urged the dancers to touch nude performers at a club in Amsterdam, to catch dildos “launched” from their vaginas, and to eat bananas “protruding” from the performers’ vaginas. It also alleges Lizzo had “concerns” about Davis gaining too much weight to be on tour.

Documentarian Sophia Nahli Allison came forward mere hours after the suit was filed with allegations of her own, claiming she was working with Lizzo on a 2019 documentary but “walked away after about 2 weeks” because she was “treated with such disrespect by her.”

Beyoncé, who previously championed Lizzo, appeared to distance herself from the singer this week.

Lizzo’s statement continued:

As an artist I have always been very passionate about what I do. I take my music and my performances seriously because at the end of the day I only want to put out the best art that represents me and my fans. 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.

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. There is nothing I take more seriously than the respect we deserve as women in the world. I know what it feels like to be body shamed on a daily basis and would absolutely never criticize or terminate an employee because of their weight.

The singer concluded by saying she’s “hurt” but won’t let her work be “overshadowed” by these allegations.

In a statement to HuffPost on Thursday, the dancers’ attorney Ron Zambrano said that “Lizzo has failed her own brand and has let down her fans.” He continued:

Her denial of this reprehensible behavior only adds to our clients’ emotional distress. The dismissive comments and utter lack of empathy are quite telling about her character and only serve to minimize the trauma she has caused the plaintiffs and other employees who have now come forward sharing their own negative experiences. While Lizzo notes it was never her intention ‘to make anyone feel uncomfortable,’ that is exactly what she did to the point of demoralizing her dancers and flagrantly violating the law.

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