Lizzo in the storm: Former dancers report sexual harassment and hostile work environment

But there will also be comments on weight, religious issues, and more.

Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for Coachella

Three former Lizzo dancers have filed a lawsuit against the singer, accusing her of sexual harassment and creating a hostile work environment following incidents allegedly occurring between 2021 and 2023. The allegations relate to the plaintiffs’ participation in a reality show, which gave them the opportunity to join Lizzo as a corps de ballet during performances and tours.

All three plaintiffs – Crystal Williams, Arianna Davis and Noel Rodriguez – performed with Lizzo at festivals and performances from September 2021 to April 2022 during Special tourand continued to compete until 2023 during the European leg. Lizzo (real name Melissa Vivian Jefferson), her production company and Shirlene Quigley are named as defendants in the lawsuit.

The dancers claim that Lizzo, who has been a body-positive champion throughout her career, also made comments about the dancer’s weight gain.

Accused along with singer Shirlene Quigley, head of Lizzo’s dance team, who allegedly tried to convert the three to her religion and also reprimanded them for premarital sex. Meanwhile, the lawsuit alleges that Quigley “made comments ridiculing people who have premarital sex, knowing that some members of the dance group did not share his views.” The girl also imitated oral sex on a banana in front of the rest of the actors. Spontaneous gestures that made plaintiffs uncomfortable.”

But the accusations against the choreographer did not end there: there were other inappropriate comments and behavior of a sexual nature, including discussions of masturbation and the exchange of sexual fantasies. The lawsuit alleges that Quigley openly discussed the dancer’s virginity while filming the reality show. Beware the Big Grrrls and also shared this information on social media and in some interviews without your consent.

During a stop in Amsterdam in February 2023, the two plaintiffs were also allegedly invited to an evening in the red light district, where they were supposed to go to a strip club with Lizzo. There, the prosecution alleges that the group forced Davis to touch the stripper’s chest against her will.

When the three teamed up to demand an advance for their work, one of the team members reportedly reprimanded them for “unacceptable and disrespectful behavior” and this became grounds for dismissal. At one point, they were asked to re-audition after being accused of drunkenness. Davis, who, according to the lawsuit, suffers from anxiety, was so upset about being fired that she stood in line for eight hours at a rehearsal and ended up pissing. Despite the incident, she was reportedly asked to continue.

Davis also claims that Lizzo opened up about her weight gain and being fired for recording the meeting because an eye problem prevented her from being physically present. Shortly after the recording, Lizzo allegedly asked security officials to confiscate the dancers’ phones.

“Lizzo flew into a rage, yelling obscenities and stating that she was going to walk around the room, person after person, until someone told Lizzo who recorded this.” Davis admitted to taping the meeting, but said she explained that she didn’t mean to hurt Lizzo and that the video was taken down.

Meanwhile, representatives of Lizzo have not yet responded.

This article was translated by Rolling Stone USA.

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