The lawsuit details alleged sexual harassment and hostile work environment claims.
Lizzo has been sued for alleged sexual harassment and creating a hostile work environment by her former backup dancers.
In the lawsuit obtained by NBC News, plaintiffs and former backup dancers Arianna Davis, Crystal Williams and Noelle Rodriguez have named Lizzo, her production company Big Grrrl Big Touring Inc, and dance captain Shirlene Quigley as defendants.
According to the allegations filed in the suit, Lizzo hosted routine afterparties, mainly at strip clubs, and those who attended would allegedly be seen higher in the singer’s favour.
At the Amsterdam strip club, Bananenbar, Lizzo allegedly “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,” NBC News reports.
“Lizzo then turned her attention to Ms Davis and began pressuring Ms Davis to touch the breasts of one of the nude women.”
According to the suit, Davis declined, but Lizzo allegedly started a chant that pressured her further into touching the woman. Davis briefly touched her.
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The case continues, “Plaintiffs were aghast with how little regard Lizzo showed for the bodily autonomy of her employees and those around her, especially in the presence of many people whom she employed.”
Later in the suit, Lizzo allegedly subjected her dancers to an “excruciating” 12-hour rehearsal, where they’d be sent home if the singer was unhappy with their performances. When Davis gained weight, she claimed that Lizzo told Davis she was “less committed” to her job, later allegedly firing the dancer for recording a meeting due to health issues.
The lawsuit also accuses Shirlene Quigley of “simulating oral sex and publicly discussing the virginity of one of the plaintiffs”.
The plaintiffs’ lawyer, Ron Zambrano, said in a statement to NBC News, “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 [sic].”
Lizzo recently headlined this year’s Splendour In The Grass festival, did a shoey in Sydney, and hit up a Melbourne karaoke bar. NME, among other publications, contacted representatives for Lizzo for comment since the lawsuit came to light.
If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual harassment, you can contact 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit 1800RESPECT.org.au for a confidential chat, counselling and support service.