Update: Lizzo’s Former Employees Share Support For Lawsuit Filed Against Singer Over Sexual Harassment, Body Shaming, & Creating A Hostile Work Environment: ‘This Was Very Much My Experience’
Update: (Aug. 1, 2023): More people who formerly worked with Lizzo have stepped forward in support of the lawsuit she’s facing.
Lizzo is currently making headlines due to a lawsuit brought against her by dancers who claim she created a hostile work environment. The entertainers — Arianna Davis, Crystal Williams, and Noelle Rodriguez — have also accused Lizzo of sexual harassment, body shaming, and seemingly threatening one of them with physical violence.
In addition to Lizzo, the singer’s dance captain Shirlene Quigley and her production company are named as defendants as well.
Courtney Hollinquest — who is also a former dancer of Lizzo’s — recently shared a statement via her IG Stories in support of the lawsuit. She wrote,
“For clarification, I’m not apart of the lawsuit – but this was very much my experience in my time there. Big shoutout to the dancers who had the courage to bring this to light”
Quinn Whitney Wilson — who reportedly once served as a creative director for Lizzo — expressed similar sentiments and said,
“echoing what @questt said — i havent been apart [sic] of that world for Send mes!
around three years, for a reason.”
“I very much applaude the dancers courage to bring this to light. And I grieve parts of my own experience
Id appreciate space to Reply to winda rutand my feelizgs.”
Wilson’s mother shared a statement as well. In part, she stated,
“AND AS HER PARENTS ON THE RECEIVING END OF THE PHONE CALLS DURING ALL
THOSE YEARS, I CAN UNEQUIVOCALLY CONFIRM THAT THE MENTAL ABUSE OUR DAUGHTER WAS PUT THROUGH WAS AND STILL IS TRAUMATIC.”
This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.
Original story: (Aug. 1, 2023): Singer Lizzo was just hit with some serious allegations.
Over the years the Detroit native has been very vocal about body positivity, self-love, and spreading joy to others. In February, during her acceptance speech for the Grammy Award for Record of the Year, Lizzo took a moment to remind people of her positive outlook on life and said,
“Anybody at home who feels misunderstood or on the outside looking in like I did, just stay true to yourself because I promise you, you will find people, you will attract people, in your life who believe in you and support you.”
However, ex-employees of Lizzo, born Melissa Jefferson, are claiming that her cheerful persona is all an act. In a lawsuit filed today (Aug. 1) in Los Angeles Superior Court, three former dancers of the singer – Arianna Davis, Crystal Williams, and Noelle Rodriguez – have accused her of sexual harassment, body shaming, and creating a hostile work environment.
The suit list several examples of Lizzo’s alleged wrongdoings. Including claims that she pressured Davis to touch a nude performer at an Amsterdam club and falsely accused dancers of drinking on the job then forced them to endure an “excruciating” 12-hour rehearsal as punishment.
Davis and Williams began performing with Lizzo after competing on her Emmy-Award-winning reality series, “Watch Out for the Big Grrrls,” in 2021. Rodriguez was hired the same year after performing in the video for “Rumors.”
The lawsuit names Lizzo, her dance captain Shirlene Quigley, and her production company as defendants. The plaintiffs accuse Quigley of trying to pressure other performers to convert to her religion and ridiculing those who had premarital sex. They also claim she shared sexual fantasies, would simulate oral sex, and publicly discuss the virginity of one of the plaintiffs.
The lawsuit notes that the dancers believe Lizzo was fully aware of their complaints against Quigley. Ron Zambrano – the lawyer for the plaintiffs – stated,
“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 demoralizing.”
As if that’s not bad enough, the dancers are accusing the “Truth Hurts” singer of shaming Davis for her weight following an appearance at South by Southwest (SXSW) music festival. Lizzo and her choreographer allegedly told the dancer that she seemed “less committed” to her role, a remark the suit claims was a “thinly veiled” concern about Davis’ weight.
According to the professional dancer, she was also verbally accosted and held against her will for recording a team meeting. Davis claims she recorded a meeting that took place on April 27 because she wanted a copy of their performance notes. However, when Lizzo became aware of the recording she,
“became furious, hurling expletives at the group and stated that she was going to go around the room, person-by-person until someone told Lizzo who made the recording.”
After Davis admitted to being responsible for the taping, the suit says,
“Ms. Quigley and Lizzo then took turns berating Ms. Davis. After castigating Ms. Davis, Lizzo fire[d] Ms. Davis on the spot.”
The suit alleges false imprisonment because Davis was allegedly forced by Lizzo’s security detail to remain in the room after the meeting ended so they could search her phone for the recording.
Rodriguez reportedly told Lizzo before the heated meeting ended that she felt disrespected by her actions and would resign. However, the suit claims Lizzo responded by “cracking her knuckles, balling her fists” and using an expletive to tell Rodriguez she was “lucky.”
Williams was fired on April 26 — before Davis was let go. The suit claims Lizzo became upset after she challenged her allegations that dancers were drinking before shows. According to reports, the suit does not note a specific desired amount for damages to cover emotional distress, loss of earnings, and attorney’s fees.
What are your thoughts on this entire situation? Tell us in the comments below!