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Lizzo, ‘Juice’(Film Still)

Lizzo is being sued for sexual harassment by her former dancers

Three former dancers are accusing the singer of sexual harassment and creating a hostile working environment, along with allegations of body shaming, religious and racial harassment, and false imprisonment

Lizzo is being sued by three former dancers, who are accusing the singer of sexual harassment and creating a hostile working environment. 

The lawsuit, which was filed on August 1 in the Los Angeles Superior Court, was first reported by NBC News, and details a long list of allegations, including sexual harassment, religious and racial harassment, false imprisonment, accusations of weight-shaming, “interference with prospective economic advantage”, and other accusations.  

The suit is being brought against Lizzo, her production company Big Grrrl Big Touring and her dance captain, Shirlene Quigley, by three former employees, named in the suit as Arianna Davis, Crystal Williams and Noelle Rodriguez. 

According to the report, Lizzo – known for her body-positive messaging – drew attention to one dancer’s weight gain at South by Southwest (SXSW) music festival. She later fired that dancer after she recorded a meeting because of a health condition. 

The suit also makes reference to a visit to an Amsterdam strip club, Bananenbar, while Lizzo and her team were performing in the city.

The singer is alleged to have invited those with her “to take turns touching the nude performers, catching dildos launched from the performers’ vaginas, and eating bananas protruding from the performers’ vaginas.”

“Lizzo then turned her attention to Ms Davis and began pressuring Ms Davis to touch the breasts of one of the nude women,” the suit says. When Davis declined, Lizzo is alleged to have peer-pressured her into it, “demanding a visibly uncomfortable Ms Davis to engage with the performer,” says the lawsuit. At one point, Ms Davis states that she was so fearful she would lose her job even if she went to the bathroom, so she soiled herself. 

Along with this incident are accusations that Lizzo pressured a member of her security staff to strip and that she failed to inform staff when she took them to a nude cabaret bar. 

“Plaintiffs were aghast with how little regard Lizzo showed for the bodily autonomy of her employees and those around her,” the suit reads, “especially in the presence of many people whom she employed.”

Elsewhere, the suit makes references to alleged comments made by touring company employees who were “charged with racial and fat-phobic animus”. 

There are also allegations of religious harassment, unfair dismissal and false imprisonment. 

In a statement, Ron Zamrano, the lawyer for Davis, Williams and Rodriquez, said: “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 demoralising.”

According to NBC News, the suit does not set out how much money Lizzo is being sued for. 

Dazed has reached out to representatives for Lizzo with requests for comment. 

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