Singer Lizzo asks judge to dismiss dancers’ harassment allegations



American singer, Lizzo has issued a response to a lawsuit filed by her former backup dancers, which detailed allegations of sexual, racial, and religious harassment, including claims that the singer weight-shamed them.”

In a Wednesday court filing, lawyers for Lizzo and her tour company denied the allegations plaintiffs Crystal Williams, Arianna Davis, and Noelle Rodriguez made against Lizzo − real name Melissa Jefferson − Big Grrrl Big Touring, Inc. and Shirlene Quigley, the singer’s dance team captain.

Lizzo’s lawyers asked the judge to dismiss the case and “deny generally and specifically each and every allegation contained in the complaint,” the filing reads. They also deny that the dancers “have sustained any injury or loss by reason of any act or omission on the part of Defendants.”

Stefan Friedman, a spokesperson for Lizzo, said in a statement: “This is the first step of a legal process in which Lizzo and her team will demonstrate that they have always practiced what they’ve preached, whether it comes to promoting body positivity, leading a safe and supportive workplace or protecting individuals from any kind of harassment.

“Any and all claims to the contrary are ridiculous, and we look forward to proving so in a court of law.”

An attorney for the dancers, Neama Rahmani, responded to Lizzo’s filing in a statement on Thursday, saying it “merely consists of boilerplate objections that have nothing to do with the case.”

“That said, the key takeaway is that Lizzo is agreeing to our clients’ demand for a jury trial,” Rahmani said. “We look forward to presenting our case in court and letting a panel of her peers decide who is telling the truth.”

Lizzo previously denied the dancers’ allegations on social media, writing in an Instagram post on Aug. 3 that “these are as unbelievable as they sound and too outrageous not to be addressed.” She said the allegations “are coming from former employees who have already publicly admitted that they were told their behaviour on tour was inappropriate and unprofessional.”

She added, “I know what it feels like to be body shamed on a daily basis and would absolutely never criticize or terminate an employee because of their weight.”

A second lawsuit against Lizzo was also filed by Rahmani’s legal firm on behalf of her tour’s former wardrobe designer.

In the lawsuit, clothing designer Asha Daniels, who designed custom pieces for Lizzo’s dancers last year, accused the singer and people who worked on Lizzo’s The Special Tour of sexual and racial harassment, disability discrimination, and creating a hostile work environment.

Lizzo spoke out publicly for the first time last week at the Black Music Action Coalition gala, which took place hours after the second lawsuit was filed.

“I needed this right now. God’s timing is on time,” Lizzo told the crowd on Sept. 21, alluding to the lawsuits. “I didn’t write a speech because I don’t know what to say in times like these.”



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