Lizzo is ‘hurt’ by suit filed by former dancers
(CNN) — Lizzo is addressing a lawsuit filed against her by three of her former dancers.
The complaint, filed in Los Angeles Superior Court on Tuesday and obtained by CNN through an attorney for the plaintiffs, alleges that the three women were subjected to a hostile work environment and harassment while working for the Grammy-winning singer.
The complaint also names Lizzo’s production company Big Grrrl Big Touring, Inc. (BGBT) and a person described as “dance cast captain” as defendants in the suit.
On Thursday, Lizzo addressed the complaint publicly for the first time in a statement on her verified social media.
“These last few days have been gut wrenchingly difficult and overwhelmingly disappointing,” her statement reads. “My work ethic, morals and respectfulness have been questioned. Usually I choose not to respond to false allegations but these are as unbelievable as they sound and too outrageous to not be addressed.”
Among the claims outlined in the suit, one of the three plaintiffs said she was encouraged by the singer to “take turns touching the nude performers” while out at a club in Amsterdam’s Red Light District while on tour in February.
Another plaintiff claims she felt pressured to “explain her weight gain and disclose intimate personal details about her life in order to keep her job” after the singer questioned her commitment to the dance team, according to the lawsuit.
“These sensationalized stories are coming from former employees who have already publicly admitted that they were told their behavior on tour was inappropriate and unprofessional,” Lizzo wrote in her response.
“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,” she wrote. “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,” she wrote, adding she is “not here to be looked at as a victim, but I also know that I am not the villain that people in the media have portrayed me to be these last few days.”
“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 continued. “I am 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 and support to lift me up during this difficult time.”
The three former dancers, Crystal Williams, Arianna Davis, and Noelle Rodriguez, appeared on “CNN This Morning” Thursday with their attorney and responded to Lizzo’s statement.
“I want to say that reading [Lizzo’s statement] just kind of further my furthered my like disappointment in regards to the situation, just because the facts are the facts, what we experienced and what we witnessed is absolutely what happened,” Williams said. “There’s nothing sensationalized about it. So all that I can hope is that people focus more so on the facts rather than the court of public opinion.”
“Personally, looking at the response from Lizzo was so disheartening because she was there,” Davis said. “She was there and to fix your hand, to write on a piece of paper that you discredit everything we’re saying is incredibly frustrating.”