“These last few days have been gut wrenchingly difficult and overwhelmingly disappointing,” Lizzo wrote on Instagram.
“My work ethic, morals and respectfulness have been questioned. 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.”
Earlier this week, three of Lizzo’s former dancers — Crystal Williams, Arianna Davis, and Noelle Rodriguez, all of whom appeared on a reality show competition for the opportunity to join Lizzo’s tour — filed a lawsuit against the singer stemming from incidents that allegedly took place beginning in 2021 and through 2023.
In the lawsuit obtained by Rolling Stone, the dancers claim that Lizzo, who has emphasized body positivity throughout her career, brought up one of the dancer’s weight gain. The dancer claims she was then berated and fired after she recorded a meeting due to a health condition, per the suit.
Other accusations alleged in the suit are religious and racial harassment, false imprisonment, and interference with prospective economic advantage, among other claims.
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“These sensationalized stories are coming from former employees who have already publicly admitted they were told their behavior on tour was inappropriate and unprofessional,” Lizzo wrote in her statement.
Following news of the lawsuit, filmmaker Sophia Nahli Allison went public with her experience of working on a documentary about Lizzo, who “treated [Allison] with such disrespect” that Allison left the project after only two weeks.
“I witnessed how arrogant, self-centered, and unkind [Lizzo] is,” Allison 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.”
“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,” Lizzo continued.
“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.”
Lizzo’s statement concluded, “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 dancers’ lawyer, Rob Zambrano, said of Lizzo’s response in a statement to Rolling Stone, “Lizzo has failed her own brand and has let down her fans. 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.”
From Rolling Stone US