Three days after the revelation of legal proceedings against him, Lizzo speaks out. The American singer, attacked by three former dancers for harassment, published a long message on Instagram on Thursday to challenge these “false accusations”.
“The past few days have been difficult, heartbreaking and marked by much disappointment,” she wrote first. “My work ethic, my values and my respect have been called into question.”
“I don’t usually respond to false accusations, but these are as unbelievable as they sound and too serious not to mention,” the 35-year-old singer continues. “These sensationalized stories come from former employees who have already publicly admitted that their inappropriate and unprofessional behavior on tour has been brought to their attention.”
An incident in an adult club
The lawsuits are brought by Arianna Davis, Crystal Williams and Noelle Rodriguez, three dancers from the world tour The Special Tour, which has just been completed in Japan. They accuse the star of “harassment”, “discrimination” and “aggression” in particular, according to court documents consulted by AFP on Tuesday.
They say that Lizzo would have created a hostile climate on the tour. Among the facts mentioned in the complaint and relayed by variety, they claim to have been forced to repeat twelve hours in a row, one of them reports having been forced to touch a naked dancer in a strip club and to have been made guilty about her weight gain. Another says they were wrongly accused of drinking before the benefits. Two of them were fired, a third resigned shortly after.
“I would never criticize an employee on her weight”
So many points in total mismatch with the values publicly defended by Lizzo (Melissa Viviane Jefferson, her real name), herself overweight, who has been advocating kindness and self-acceptance since her beginnings.
“I know what it’s like to be constantly belittled for your appearance, and I would never criticize or fire an employee because of her weight,” she defends herself on Instagram.
“I take my music and my performances very seriously (…) With passion comes hard work and demand. Sometimes I have to make difficult decisions but my intention is never to make anyone feel bad. comfortable, or not making them feel like important members of the team.”
“I am very open about my sexuality (…) but I cannot accept letting people use this openness to portray me as someone I am not”, she writes again, presumably in reference to the alleged strip club incident. “There is nothing I take more seriously than the respect we deserve as women in the world.”
“I’m in pain, but I won’t let this story overshadow the good work I’ve done,” concludes the singer of About Damn Time. I would like to thank everyone who reached out to me to show their support and help me during this difficult time.”
The complaint, which was filed in Los Angeles, also targets Lizzo’s production company, Big Grrrl Big Touring, Inc. (BGBT) as well as Shirlene Quigley, director of the dancing troupe. The plaintiffs accuse him of having tried to spread his Christian faith, in particular concerning sex before marriage, “despite protests”, and of having frequently made comments of a sexual nature.
Original article published on BFMTV.com
VIDEO – Singer Lizzo accused of harassment and discrimination by three of her former dancers