Lizzo told that she’s “not the villain” after the sexual harassment lawsuit by three of her former backup dancers.
Tuesday a civil lawsuit was filed in Los Angle claiming that Lizzo pressured another dancer to engage with nude performers at a club in Amsterdam and also shamed one of them for her weight gain before releasing her.
“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,” on Thursday she said in a statement which is posted on social media.
“I am very open with my sexuality and expressing myself but I cannot accept or allow people to use that openness to make me out to be something I am not.”
Some of the artists including Plaintiffs Arianna Davis, Crystal Williams, and Noelle Rodrigue made multiple allegations such as sexual, religious, and racial harassment, disability discrimination, assault, and false imprisonment. Blaim Lizzo for creating a hostile work environment.
Her production company Big Grrrl Big Touring, Inc., and Sherrill Quigley, captain of the artist’s dance team. The legal complaint seeks unspecified damages from Melissa Vivian Jefferson (Lizzo’s birth name).
“These last few days have been gut-wrenchingly difficult and overwhelmingly disappointing. My work ethic, morals, and respectfulness have been questioned. My character has been criticized,” Lizzo said in the statement. “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 said the “sensationalized stories” were coming from former employees “who have already publicly admitted that they were told their behavior on tour was inappropriate and unprofessional.”
The court filing claims that after performing a concert in Amsterdam, Lizzo and her crew attended a sexually themed show at a club in the city’s notorious Red Light District where “Lizzo began inviting cast members to take turns touching the nude performers” and led a chant pressuring Davis to touch the breasts of one of the nude women performing at the club.
Lizzo and her entourage take part in a sexually themed show at a club in the city’s infamous red light district. However, The petition filed in court claimed that after a concert performance in Amsterdam.
“Finally, the chorus became overwhelming, and a mortified Ms. Davis acquiesced in an attempt to bring an end to the chants,” the complaint states. “Plaintiffs were aghast with how little regard Lizzo showed for the bodily autonomy of her employees and those around her, especially in the presence of many people whom she employed.”
According to the complaint, Davis was fired in May for videotaping a meeting during which Lizzo offered the dancer’s performance feedback. Lizzo, who routinely promotes body positivity, is also accused of slamming Davis for her weight gain after accusing her of being hesitant in her role.
“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,” Lizzo said. “I’m hurt but I will not let the good work I’ve done in the world be overshadowed by this.”
A global tour in support of their fourth studio album concluded last month. Earlier this year, Lizzo won the Grammy for Record of the Year for her hit single song “About Damn Time”.