Dancer Suing Lizzo Fights Back Tears, Says 'I Lost Who I Was' on Tour as Singer's Famous Pals Voice Support
Selma Blair commented on Lizzo's Instagram, writing: "This too shall pass." Marc Jacobs, Jamela Jamil and singer Carnie Wilson of Wilson Phillips also voiced their love and support with public comments on Lizzo's Instagram.
"During the process of this job, I lost who I was."
Those are the words of Arianna Davis, one of the three dancers accusing Lizzo of creating a hostile work environment in a lawsuit filed earlier this week in Los Angeles County Superior Court
She and her fellow dancers shared their claims about life on tour with Lizzo in an exclusive interview with Inside Edition.
"I would not wish what I experienced on my worst enemy," said dancer Crystal Willaims.
Davis and Williams joined the tour after appearing on the singer's Emmy-winning reality show "Lizzo's Watch Out For the Big Grrrls." Once on tour they met Noelle Rodriguez, the third plaintiff in the case.
The women continue to stand firmly behind their allegations, even after Lizzo labeled their accusations and the suggestions that she is a "villain" as false in a statement on Thursday.
Lizzo meanwhile is getting some very public support from her very famous friends.
Selma Blair commented on Lizzo's Instagram, writing: "This too shall pass."
Marc Jacobs, Jameela Jamil, and singer Carnie Wilson of Wilson Phillips also voiced their love and support with public comments on Lizzo's Instagram.
"This will be a blip soon enough. Keep your head held high girl. You know who you are. Others like to take the opportunity to get what they can. Ignore. Delete. It will be over soon," writes Kristen Chenoweth on Instagram.
Lizzo is being sued by the three dancers, who are seeking damages from the singer, as well as by Big Grrrl Big Touring Inc. and Shirlene Quigley, the tour’s dance captain.
"The stunning nature of how Lizzo and her management team treated their performers seems to go against everything Lizzo stands for publicly," Ron Zambrano, who is representing the plaintiffs, said in a statement.
He went to allege that Lizzo "privately ... weight-shames her dancers and demeans them in ways that are not only illegal but absolutely demoralizing."
Lizzo responded to their court filing in a lengthy post on social media.
“These last few days have been gut wrenchingly difficult and overwhelming disappointing,” Lizzo wrote. “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 not to be addressed.”
She then talked about her passion for performing and her drive to put out the "best art" she can while on tour.
"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," the singer wrote.
She closed out her statement by writing: “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."
The dancers claim they were subject to multiple forms of harassment, including racial harassment by the touring production company, which accused the Black dancers of being "lazy, unprofessional, and having bad attitudes," according to the lawsuit.
Davis claims that after one performance, both Lizzo and Quigley told her she seemed “less committed” after she gained weight. The lawsuit alleges that the dancer, who says she has been diagnosed with binge-eating disorder, then felt like she “needed to explain her weight gain and disclose intimate personal details about her life in order to keep her job.”
Quigley is accused of allegedly espousing her religious beliefs on dancers and expressing her strong view of virginity during the tour, says the lawsuit.
She has yet to respond to any specific allegations but did post a video of herself in her car on Instagram saying: "I just wanted to get on here really quick and say that God is so, so good. God loves you so, so, so, so, so much. Not matter what you’re going through, even if you don’t love him, he loves you.”
Reps for Lizzo, who has built her very lucrative brand on body positivity, female empowerment and self-love, did not respond to requests for comment.
The dancers are seeking an unspecified amount in damages for emotional distress, unpaid wages, loss of earnings, sexual, religious and racial harassment, disability discrimination and false imprisonment as well as all attorney fees.
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