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Lizzo: Former staff support dancers accusing her of sexual harassment and fat-shaming

Lizzo performs ‘Truth Hurts’ at Glastonbury 2023

Lizzo’s former employees are speaking out in support of three backup dancers who accused the singer of sexual harassment and body shaming in a new lawsuit.

The Grammy winner’s former creative director Quinn Wilson is among three of Lizzo’s ex-colleagues who have praised the plaintiffs for their courage “bringing [the allegations] to light”.

Filmmaker Sophia Nahli Allison said she declined to direct Lizzo’s 2022 documentary after she was “disrespected” by the “About Damn Time” hitmaker.

The allegations against Lizzo come months after the singer delivered one of the best performances at Glastonbury 2023

(AFP via Getty Images)

According to the legal filing, Lizzo (real name Melissa Viviane Jefferson) allegedly pressured one of her dancers, Arianna Davis, into touching a nude performer at an Amsterdam strip club.

It is also alleged that the Grammy winner set up a humiliating 12-hour re-audition for her dancers, and fostered a hostile work environment.

Other allegations against the 35-year-old star, her dance captain Shirlene Quigley, and Lizzo’s production company Big Grrrl Big Touring include assault, racial and religious harassment, fat-shaming, disability discrimination, and false imprisonment.

Representatives for Lizzo and Quigley didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment from The Independent.


Filmmaker Sophia Nahli Allison says she quit Lizzo documentary as singer was ‘unkind and cruel’

Oscar-nominated filmmaker Sophia Nahli Allison has criticised “narcissistic bully” Lizzo as the singer’s reputation continues to be thrown into question.

The documentarian was set to make a film with Lizzo in 2019, but walked away after shadowing the singer for two weeks.

Maanya Sachdeva3 August 2023 10:00


Watch: Lizzo’s dance captain sends message to fans amid lawsuit allegations

Lizzo’s dance captain sends message to fans amid lawsuit allegations

Peony Hirwani3 August 2023 09:00


Lizzo sexual harassment claims: Singer’s defiant Instagram post just hours before lawsuit filed

Lizzo’s defiant Instagram post just hours before lawsuit filed

Singer Lizzo posted a defiant message to her fans just hours before three of her former dancers filed a lawsuit against her. The 35-year-old posted two videos of herself performing her usual high-energetic routines live on stage, with crowds going wild. The clips were uploaded to her Instagram account just a few hours before the lawsuit was filed on Tuesday (1 August), accusing her of sexual harassment and fostering a hostile work environment. It also alleges that Lizzo pressured one of the plaintiffs into touching a nude performer at an Amsterdam strip club and orchestrated a humiliating 12-hour audition process for her dancers.

Peony Hirwani3 August 2023 08:30


Lizzo: The poster girl for body positivity, whose empowering image is now under threat

The “Good as Hell” singer has crafted a globally successful brand of body positivity and self-love, backed up by a litany of empowerment anthems. But as the star faces shocking allegations in a new lawsuit, The Independent’s Kate Ng digs into how she got here.

Peony Hirwani3 August 2023 08:00


What are the allegations against Lizzo?

The plaintiffs include Arianna Davis, Crystal Williams, and Noelle Rodriguez, who filed the paperwork at the Los Angeles Superior Court on Tuesday 1 August.

Claims against the singer include that she invited her employees “to take turns touching nude performers, catching dildos launched from the performers’ vaginas, and eating bananas protruding from the performers’ vaginas” at a strip club in Amsterdam.

She is also accused of fat-shaming Davis, who was fired after Lizzo discovered her recording one of their meetings due to a health condition. “Ms Quigley and Lizzo then took turns berating Ms Davis,” the paperwork reportedly read. “After castigating Ms Davis, Lizzo fired Ms Davis on the spot.”

Quigley also allegedly “made comments deriding people who engaged in pre-marital sex, knowing that some members of the dance cast did not share her views”.


Peony Hirwani3 August 2023 07:30


Lizzo’s past lyrics raise eyebrows after singer’s sued by former dancers

Lyrics from a famous Lizzo song are raising eyebrows in the wake of the lawsuit filed against the singer.

The singer is being sued by her former dancers for alleged sexual harassment and for allegedly establishing a hostile work environment, with the lawsuit claiming that Lizzo “hounded” one of the plaintiffs into touching a nude performer at an Amsterdam strip club.

Since the lawsuit was reported, lyrics from Lizzo’s Cardi B collaboration “Rumors”, released in 2021, are circulating social media.

The lyrics read: “Had to cut some hoes loose, yeah / NDA, no loose lips / Now them hoes tryna sue me / B****, I don’t give two s***s / All the rumors are true, yeah.”

Peony Hirwani3 August 2023 07:00


Did Beyoncé change lyrics on her tour to omit singer’s name amid sexual harassment claims?

Beyoncé fans have speculated she left out Lizzo’s name during a live performance on Tuesday in light of the recent allegations against her.

Social media users noted Beyoncé altered the lyrics of her song “Break My Soul (The Queen’s Remix)” in which she lists off a number of Black female artists, including Lizzo, Lauryn Hill, Betty Davis, and her sister Solange Knowles.

While performing in Boston, Massachusetts, on Tuesday night, Beyoncé appeared to leave out Lizzo’s name on purpose.

Peony Hirwani3 August 2023 06:30


Lizzo’s ex-employees praise accusers for their ‘courage to bring this to light’

Since reports of the lawsuit began to emerge, several of Lizzo’s previous collaborators have spoken out in support of the accusers.

Courtney Hollinquest, a dancer who used to be a part of Lizzo’s dance troupe, shared an NBC News article about the lawsuit before stating that she had had a similar experience.

“For clarification, I’m not a part of the lawsuit – but this was very much my experience in my time there,” Hollinquest wrote on her Instagram Story on Tuesday. “Big shoutout to the dancers who had the courage to bring this to light.”

Lizzo’s former creative director Quinn Wilson said she “grieves part of my own experience” working with the Grammy winner, asking space “to understand my feelings”.

Peony Hirwani3 August 2023 06:00


Listen: The Independent’s LA correspondent discusses Lizzo accusations on Woman’s Hour

The Independent’s LA correspondent discusses Lizzo accusations on Woman’s Hour

Peony Hirwani3 August 2023 05:30


Oscar-nominated director alleges that Lizzo ‘creates an extremely toxic and hostile working environment’

On her Instagram Story, Sophia Nahli Allison, whose short film A Love Song for Latasha (2019) was nominated for an Oscar, alleged that she exited her role as the director of a Lizzo documentary in 2019 because she “was treated with such disrespect”.

“I usually do not comment on anything pop culture related,” Allison wrote in her post. “But, in 2019, I traveled a bit with Lizzo to be the director of her documentary. I walked away after about two weeks. I was treated with such disrespect by her. I witnessed how arrogant and unkind she is. I was not protected and was thrown into a shitty situation with little support. My spirit said to run as fast as you fucking can and I’m so grateful I trusted by gut. I felt gaslit and was deeply hurt but I’ve healed.”

“Reading these reports made me realize how dangerous of a situation it was,” she added. “This kind of abuse of power happens far too often. Much love and support to the dancers.”

Sophia Nahli Allison on Instagram

(Sophia Nahli Allison/Instagram)

Tom Murray3 August 2023 05:03

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