Attorney for Lizzo’s three backup dancers who accused her of sexual harassment and bullying says MORE people have called him with claims about the star: ‘Behind closed doors, this is the way Lizzo is’
- Melissa Viviane Jefferson, known as Lizzo, is facing a legal battle after dancers alleged that she created a hostile work environment
- The plaintiffs – her former dancers – are named in the lawsuit as Arianna Davis, Crystal Williams, and Noelle Rodriguez
- The lawyer representing the trio, Ron Zambrano, has now said that more people have came forward with claims about the star
The attorney for Lizzo’s sexual harassment and bullying accusers has said more people have called him with claims about the star.
Lawyer Ron Zambrano is currently representing three backup dancers who have accused the singer of sexual harassment and creating a hostile work environment.
The 35-year-old popstar, real name Melissa Viviane Jefferson, faces the legal battle after they alleged she commented on their weight and pressured one to touch a nude performer in a strip club.
Zambrano has now said that more people have since come forward, telling Newsnation; ‘Now that this is out, the cat is out of the bag, people are coming forward and going “you know what, I went through that”.
‘There is people calling my office going “you know what, behind close doors this is how Lizzo is”.’
The plaintiffs in the suit are named as Arianna Davis, Crystal Williams, and Noelle Rodriguez.
Crystal Williams – one of the plaintiffs who lodged the lawsuit against Lizzo. The suit claimed that Williams spoke out against allegations Lizzo made that the dancers were drinking before their performances. She was fired a few days later
Arianna Davis – one of the plaintiffs who filed the lawsuit against Lizzo. In one instance noted in the lawsuit, Davis soiled her pants during an intense rehearsal because she was so fearful she’d lose her job. She was then handed a see-through outfit with no undergarments to finish the performance, the suit said
Noelle Rodriguez – one of the plaintiffs who lodged the lawsuit against Lizzo. When Rodriguez quit, Lizzo showed her two middle fingers and yelled a slur at her, the lawsuit claimed
Chris Cuomo also referred to a video obtained by TMZ showing Arianna Davis saying that working with Lizzo ‘been so amazing and such a beautiful journey’.
Davis also said: ‘I look up to her so much. I just want to follow in her footsteps.’
Cuomo fires back at Zambrano saying: ‘She doesn’t seem harassed.’
Zambrano explained: ‘That was done before most of the allegations in the complaint. That was an audition tape to get on the second season of the show on Amazon.
‘Nothing happened that was in the complaint before that video was done.’
Cuomo also questioned whether it was more against her dance captain Shirelen Quigley.
The presenter said: ‘Is it really about the dance captain and not Lizzo, and you are throwing Lizzo in there because she’s the big name, and that’s why you get a settlement?’
Zambrano hit back: ‘Lizzo is one of the people who absolutely fostered this sexual harassment environment.
‘She allowed this environment to exist. Her statement today talks about her being a very sexual person, basically saying if you want to be around me you have to deal with it.
‘But you are not supposed to deal with it in a workplace, and that is the problem.’
The suit accuses the singer of ‘inviting cast members to take turns touching the nude performers,’ inside an Amsterdam strip club.
Lizzo allegedly encouraged ‘catching d****s launched from the performers’ vaginas, and eating bananas protruding from the performers’ vaginas.’
The ‘About Damn Time’ singer, 35, is known for her gregarious body positivity, but the lawsuit paints her in a much different light.
Lizzo is not the only named defendant in the case, which was filed in Los Angeles Superior Court on Tuesday.
Zambrano, right, had been speaking to Chris Cuomo, left, when he said more people had come forward about the star
Lizzo, whose real name is Melissa Viviane Jefferson, faces the legal battle after the dancers alleged created a hostile work environment
Her dance captain, Shirlene Quigley, is also facing a slew of accusations.
Williams and Davis both appeared on the recent Amazon Prime reality show ‘Lizzo’s Watch Out for the Big Grrrls’ – about the singer’s quest to find backup dancers.
Quigley, according to the lawsuit, shared ‘lewd sexual fantasies,’ and publicly discussed the virginity of one of the plaintiffs while berating those who had had pre-marital sex.
The complaints for all damages include: Hostile work environment, sexual harassment, religious harassment, racial harassment, disability discrimination, and failure to prevent or remedy the harassment.
Lizzo is specifically accused of disability discrimination, creating a hostile work environment, sexual harassment, and failing to stop said issues.
Her touring company Big Grrrl Big Touring Inc. is also named as a defendant.
Lizzo also allegedly made a claim the dancers were drinking before performances, which Williams then spoke out about. The popstar allegedly made the group go through an ‘excruciating’ 12-hour rehearsal.
Williams lost her job days after, the lawsuit claimed.
Davis, meanwhile, soiled her pants during the intense rehearsal because she was so fearful she’d lose her job, the documents state.
She was then handed a see-through outfit with no undergarments to finish the performance, the suit said.
In the case of Rodriguez, she complained to a manager about the decision to publicly fire Williams, after Lizzo had told the group she had ‘eyes and ears everywhere.’
But as a result, Lizzo held a meeting and had security confiscate dancers’ phones, the lawsuit claimed.
Rodriguez then expressed how she felt disrespected and threatened to resign – to which Lizzo said she was ‘lucky.’
When Rodriguez did indeed quit, Lizzo showed her two middle fingers and yelled a slur at her, the lawsuit claimed.
On Thursday, the popstar dismissed the lawsuit against her as ‘unbelievable’ and ‘outrageous’ as she broke her silence.
Lizzo wrote in a statement: ‘These last few days have been gut wrenchingly difficult and overwhelmingly disappointing.
‘Usually I choose not to respond to false allegations but these are as unbelievable as they sound and too outrageous to not be addressed.
Lizzo performs at the United Center on May 17, 2023, in Chicago
Lizzo’s statement in full: The singer addressed all the claims and said her morals and values have been called into question
‘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.
‘l 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.’
Hours after the lawsuit news was made public, Lizzo’s former creative director Quinn Whitney Wilson and dancer Courtney Hollinquest claimed they experienced similar mistreatment.
Courtney said on her Instagram on Tuesday: ‘For clarification, I’m not a part of the lawsuit – but this was very much my experience in my time there.’
Lizzo performs at Spark Arena on July 26, 2023 in Auckland, New Zealand
Dancer Courtney Hollinquest shared a headline about the lawsuit filed against Lizzo, adding on her Instagram story, ‘this was very much my experience in my time there’
Her first major label album Cuz I Love You, made it into the Billboard Top Ten, featuring the one-flopped track Truth Hurts, which received a huge resurgence despite originally being released in 2017.
Lizzo released her second mainstream album, Special, in 2022, which featured one of her most well-known tracks About Damn Time, which soared to number one on the US charts.
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