Lizzo breaks silence on allegations; former dancers’ lawyer doubles down (EXCLUSIVE) – Boston Herald
Lizzo is responding to the allegations from her former dancers, who this week sued the Grammy winner for alleged harassment, weight-shaming and more.
In the bombshell lawsuit filed Tuesday, Crystal Williams, Arianna Davis and Noelle Rodriguez list a series of accusations such as discrimination, weight shaming, and sexual harassment that included ‘inviting cast members to take turns touching the nude performers’ at a club in Amsterdam.
“Yeah, she was there with the dildos and the bananas and the vaginas,” the dancers’ attorney Neama Rahmani tells the Daily News. “She’s the one that asked everyone to go, and everyone felt pressure to go to get along with Lizzo. Telling Arianna to touch the nude woman and telling the security guard to pull down his pants. He was whipped by one of the nude performers. Lizzo was an active participant in all of this.”
The “Truth Hurts” artist released a statement Thursday denying all allegations in an Instagram post writing, “These last few days have been gut wrenchingly difficult and overwhelmingly disappointing,” Lizzo posted to Instagram. “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,” she continued. “These sensationalized stories are coming from former employees who have already publicly admitted that they were told their behavior on tour was inappropriate and unprofessional.”
“As an artist I have always been very passionate about what I do. I take my music and my performances seriously because at the end of the day I only want to put out the best art that represents me and my fans. With passion comes hard work and high standards. Sometimes I have to make hard decisions but it’s never my intention to make anyone feel uncomfortable or like they aren’t valued as an important part of the team.
“I am not here to be looked at as a victim, but I also know that I am not the villain that people and the media have portrayed me to be these last few days. I am very open with my sexuality and expressing myself but I cannot accept or allow people to use that openness to make me out to be something I am not. There is nothing I take more seriously than the respect we deserve as women in the world. 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.”
It’s a response Rahmani, who represents all three plaintiffs in the case, predicted Wednesday when speaking to the News.
“I don’t care if it’s Donald Trump or Lizzo, civil criminal defendants rarely admit responsibility. Fully expect there to be a denial in this case and be litigated and have to go to trial.”
“If Lizzo were to apologize, I would be pleasantly surprised. I would take that to my clients and see what we can do to resolve this, but a public apology would certainly be a good start to fixing or at least undoing some of the harm that she’s caused.”
Rahmani says his clients want “justice.”
“They want their story told. Since we filed, so many people have come forward, current and former employers and dancers, and said, ‘Hey I was treated like this, too. It’s its own ‘me too’ movement.”
In the complaint filed by the Los Angeles Superior Court and obtained by the News, the trio is also suing for “weight shaming’ one of the plaintiffs.
The pop star has won the adoration of millions of fans in part because of her body confident image.
Rahmani calls that image a false one.
“The Lizzo that people see in public when cameras are rolling is very different from the Lizzo that is an employer.”
Lizzo wrapped up her statement sharing, “I’m hurt but I will not let the good work I’ve done in the world be overshadowed by this. I want to thank everyone who has reached out in support to lift me up during this difficult time.”
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