“All the rumors are true, yeah…Now them hoes tryna sue me,” sings Lizzo in her 2021 hit Rumors. While it would be silly to assume Lizzo somehow predicted the legal battle she is now engaged in, the lyrics do seem to carry an air of self-awareness, even two years ago.
The 35 year old pop star, known for her sassy lyrics, flute playing, and body positivity is now facing a lawsuit from three ex-dancers, that of which threatens not only her career, but her entire reputation. The dancers– Arianna Davis, Crystal Williams, and Noelle Rodriguez have alleged that they experienced sexual harassment, body shaming, racial and religious harassment, and false imprisonment.
Credit: Entertainment Tonight
Davis, who says she has struggled with a binge-eating disorder in the past, alleged that Lizzo accused her of being “less committed” to the team following a performance at South by Southwest music festival, that of which she says was a thinly veiled commentary on her recent weight gain. As Lizzo didn’t explicitly say she had a problem with Davis’ weight gain, and the meaning was only implied, it’s unlikely this allegation will hold up in court. But don’t worry, there’s more.
The allegations of religious harassment are associated with Lizzo’s dance captain Shirlene Quigley, who according the the dancers was constantly speaking of her devout Christian beliefs, going as far as to shame any dancer who had premarital sex. Davis alleged that Quigley often spoke publicly of her (Davis’) virginity, even posting about it on social media without the dancer’s consent.
The dancers also mention an instance when Lizzo held surprise auditions for the dancers that were already on the team. The alleged twelve hour surprise audition was so grueling that Davis says she soiled her pants out of fear of taking a bathroom break.
A few days later, on April 27th, Williams was publicly fired because of disagreements she made with Lizzo during a meeting. This same meeting was recorded by Davis on her phone to later listen to. After Lizzo discovered Davis had recorded the meeting, she was locked in a room while Lizzo and security personnel deleted information off her phone. Then, Davis was also fired. Additionally during the meeting, Rodriguez said she was going to resign, to which Lizzo apparently cracked her knuckles, balled up her fists, and said Rodriguez was “lucky”.
Lastly, Lizzo’s accusers bring up an incident that occurred while on tour in Amsterdam. According to the suit, Lizzo pressured dancers to go to a strip club with her, where she attempted to convince her dancers to touch nude performers as well as catch sex toys and bananas that had been launched from the performers.
Credit: Today Show
Lizzo responded on Instagram with a short statement in which she denies all the allegations saying, “My work ethic, morals, and respectfulness have been questioned. My character has been criticized. Usually I choose not to respond to false allegations but these are as unbelievable as they sound and too outrageous to not be addressed.” Although Lizzo seems very adamant that these allegations are completely untrue, it’s up to the court now.
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