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Lizzo sued by former dancers for assault, discrimination, and sexual and racial harassment

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Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for The Recording Academy

Three of Lizzo’s former dancers are suing the singer, alleging sexual, religious and racial harassment; disability discrimination; and assault and false imprisonment, among other things. 

A complaint filed by Arianna Davis, Crystal Williams and Noelle Rodriguez in the Los Angeles County Superior Court on Tuesday, August 1, says that some of the dancers were forced to endure sexually denigrating behavior, as well as preaching about sexuality and Christianity. It also alleges they were weight-shamed and were pressured into participating in “disturbing” sex shows.

The lawsuit names Lizzo, born Melissa Jefferson; her production company, Big Grrrl Big Touring, Inc.; and Shirlene Quigley, captain of Lizzo’s dance team.

Ron Zambrano, an attorney for the plaintiffs, said in a statement, “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.”

According to the lawsuit, Davis and Williams were introduced to Lizzo in March 2021, while preparing to be contestants on her reality TV show, Lizzo’s Watch Out for the Big Grrrls. Rodriguez was hired in May of that year to perform in the singer’s “Rumors” music video and was then a member of her dance team.  

Rodriguez resigned from the team, while Davis and Williams were eventually fired. 

As of Tuesday afternoon, Lizzo had not publicly responded to the allegations. 

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