Lizzo Sued By Former Dancers For Alleged Sexual Harassment
Lizzo, who has made body positivity a part of her brand, is being sued by three of her former tour dancers for sexual harassment and discrimination. According to a complaint filed in Los Angeles court against Lizzo (real name Melissa Jefferson) and her Big Grrrl Big Touring Inc., former dancers Arianna Davis, Crystal Williams and Noelle Rodriguez are accusing the entertainer of multiple wrongdoings during their time of employment.
In a complaint obtained by Billboard, the dancers allege that Lizzo pressured the dancers into attending a live sex show in Amsterdam. The lawsuit details at the show, “Lizzo began inviting cast members to take turns touching the nude performers, catching dildos launched from the performers’ vaginas, and eating bananas protruding from the performers’ vaginas. Lizzo then turned her attention to Ms. Davis and began pressuring Ms. Davis to touch the breasts of one of the nude women performing at the club.”
The lawsuit also alleges that Shirlene Quigley, the captain of Lizzo’s dance team ” … forced her religious beliefs on the plaintiffs and took repeated actions that made them uncomfortable, including commenting about their sexual virginity and simulating oral sex on a banana in front of them.”
Davis alleged that she thought her job was in jeopardy by gaining weight. She noted that Lizzo and others on staff “never explicitly stated it.” But instead implied that she “needed to explain her weight gain and disclose intimate personal details about her life in order to keep her job.”
Ron Zambrano, the attorney representing the dancers, told Billboard about the alleged weight gain comments made by the entertainer. He said, “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.”
There was also alleged racial discrimination against Black members of the dance team. They alleged they were being “treated differently.” They allegedly were accused of “being lazy, unprofessional, and having bad attitudes.” It stated that “none of these same allegations were leveled against dancers who are not black.”
Representatives for Lizzo and Quigley (named in the lawsuit as a co-defendant) have not provided public statements on the allegations.