Updated 8/3/23 at 1:59 p.m. ET:
As the sexual harassment lawsuit filed against Lizzo continues to evolve, one of the plaintiffs is responding to a video that’s currently making the rounds on the internet. On Thursday, TMZ released a video of Arianna Davis praising the Grammy winner in an interview during Watch Out For the Big Grrrls Season 2. Now, Davis is responding to the video, noting that despite TMZ’s claims, the video was filmed “before the bulk of our allegations occurred.”
“Of course, I wasn’t going to say anything negative about the camp while I was still in it. Right up until the last minute, I didn’t realize how bad it was and how much I was being taken advantage of,” Davis said in a statement provided to The Root. “I just genuinely wanted to save my job. This video further explains how much I was trying to please Lizzo. But it was such a toxic work environment because throughout all the abuse, I was still trying to please her and make her think that I was good enough. This video was done before the bulk of our allegations occurred, and this was just me grasping at straws and my last attempt to make her see how committed I was to being loyal to her and her camp.”
Neama Rahmani, one of the lawyers representing the three former dancers, is eager for his clients to have their day in court.
“Given Lizzo is denying that any of this happened, let’s take it to trial,” Rahmani said in a statement. “More witnesses are coming forward every day corroborating the plaintiffs’ allegations, so we’re looking forward to facing Lizzo and her team in court.”
Updated 8/3/23 at 11:42 a.m. ET:
Following Lizzo’s response to the lawsuit filed by three of her former dancers, Ron Zambrano, the attorney representing Arianna Davis, Crystal Williams and Noelle Rodriguez, released a statement responding to the “About Damn Time” singer.
“Lizzo has failed her own brand and has let down her fans. Her denial of this reprehensible behavior only adds to our clients’ emotional distress,” Zambrano wrote in a statement to The Root. “The dismissive comments and utter lack of empathy are quite telling about her character and only serve to minimize the trauma she has caused the plaintiffs and other employees who have now come forward sharing their own negative experiences. While Lizzo notes it was never her intention ‘to make anyone feel uncomfortable,’ that is exactly what she did to the point of demoralizing her dancers and flagrantly violating the law.”
The case is already getting extremely messy, as TMZ published a video of Davis praising the Grammy winner during an interview for Watch Out for the Big Grrrls Season 2. The outlet says it was filmed in April, after the alleged harassment took place.
“It’s been so amazing and such a beautiful journey. I look up to her so much. I just want to follow in her footsteps, and I just want to share that with the Queen Lizzo herself,” Davis said.
“These do not sound like the words of someone who was harassed or discriminated against by someone they described as ‘THE QUEEN,’” Lizzo’s lawyer Marty Singer, told TMZ.
It’s worth noting that many people on social media have pointed out that all of us have lied about our boss or job at some point, so this video may not be the damning evidence Lizzo’s team wants it to be.
One thing is certain, this case will get increasingly messy before a conclusion is reached.
See original story below:
After days of fan questions and speculation, Lizzo has responded to the sexual harassment lawsuit filed against her by three former dancers. In a statement posted to Instagram on Thursday, she called the allegations “false” and said they’re “as unbelievable as they sound.”
“These last few days have been gut wrenchingly difficult and overwhelmingly disappointing. My work ethic, morals and respectfulness have been questioned. My character has been criticized,” Lizzo wrote. “Usually I choose not to respond to false allegations but these are as unbelievable as they sound and too outrageous to not be addressed.”
Arianna Davis, Crystal Williams and Noelle Rodriguez are suing Lizzo, her production company Big Grrrl Big Touring, Inc. and dance team captain Shirlene Quigley. The allegations include “sexual, religious and racial harassment, disability discrimination, assault and false imprisonment, among other things.”
“These sensationalised stories are coming from former employees who have already publicly admitted that they were told their behavior on tour was inappropriate and unprofessional,” the Grammy winner added.
“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,” Lizzo continued. “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.”
Lizzo has built her brand off being a body and sex positive Black woman who just wants to lift others up. This is why it was so surprising for her fans to read these accusations in the lawsuit.
“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,” she wrote. “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.”
“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,” she concluded.
With others, including Sophia Nahli Allison, the former director of her Love, Lizzo documentary, leveling troubling accusations against the singer, Lizzo’s reputation and career may not be able to recover from this shocking scandal.