There’s a storm brewing in Hollywood over singer Lizzo, known for her body positivity and empowering music. Three former dancers have filed a lawsuit against her, accusing her of sexual misconduct and creating a hostile work environment.
She denied all the accusations in an Instagram post shared on Thursday night.
“My work ethic, morals and respectfulness have been questioned. My character has been criticised. Usually I choose not to respond to false allegations but these are as unbelievable as they sound and too outrageous to not be addressed,” she wrote, calling the accusations “sensationalised stories” coming from former employees who have already publicly admitted that they were told their behaviour on tour was inappropriate and unprofessional.
“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 wrote, adding that while she is very open about her sexuality and expressing herself, “I cannot accept or allow people to use that openness to make me out to be something I am not”.
The singer has since hired Hollywood lawyer Marty Singer, who has previously represented Jonah Hill, Kim Kardashian, Bill Cosby and Chris Brown.
The lawsuit, filed by Crystal Williams, Arianna Davis and Noelle Rodriguez in the Los Angeles Superior Court, also alleges misconduct by the ‘Rumours’ singer’s production company, Big Grrrl Big Touring Inc, and her dance team captain Shirlene Quigley. The claims levelled against Lizzo include her pressuring dancers into unwanted sexual situations, making statements that were perceived as being about a dancer’s weight gain, and putting people through intense rehearsals that led to one dancer soiling herself.
Davis and Williams were fired from the dance troupe before they filed the suit while Rodriguez said she resigned over how poorly her colleagues were treated.
The allegations also include a hostile work environment that featured sexual harassment, a failure to prevent or remedy sexual harassment in the workplace, and a failure to prevent or remedy religious harassment in the workplace.