Lizzo is speaking out in her own defense.
A couple days after former backup dancers filed an explosive lawsuit against the artist — which included claims of sexual harassment and mistreatment — Lizzo has issued a statement in which she denies all wrongdoing.
On August 3, the “About Damn Time” singer used her Instagram account to label these accusations as “too outrageous” not to address.
She then responded to them at length.
“These last few days have been gut wrenchingly difficult and overwhelming disappointing,” Lizzo’s message on Instagram began.
“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.”
The aforementioned legal papers were filed on Tuesday in Los Angeles County Superior Court against Lizzo, her production company, Big Grrrl Big Touring, Inc., and her dance team captain, Shirlene Quigley.
In this suit, three women named Arianna Davis, Crystal Williams, and Noelle Rodriguez claim they were pressured by Lizzo into touching nude performers at a club in Amsterdam; and were also subjected to weight shaming.
Continued Lizzo in reply:
“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.”
All of the women allege they were fired this spring by Lizzo.
They claim the four-time Grammy award winner let one go due to a poor attitude and fired another (after “berating” her) because she recorded Lizzo giving her performance notes, only to quickly delete the video when she realized her mistake.
In one shocking portion of the civil complaint, the trio allege that their bosses took them to a sex show in Amsterdam, at which they were forced to eat a banana from a performer’s vagina.
They also say they were forced to work “grueling” 12-hour days and were falsely accused of infractions such as drinking on the job, while being mocked and made to feel badly about their figures.
“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,” added Lizzo on Thursday.
“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 lawsuit also accuses dance captain Quigley of shaming those who engaged in premarital sex, proselytizing those around her and “oversharing her masturbatory habits and sex life with her husband.”
“There is nothing I take more seriously than the respect we deserve as women in the world,” Lizzo says now.
“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.”
She concluded as follows:
“I’m hurt but I will not let the good work I’ve done in this world be overshadowed by this.
“I want to thank everyone who has reached out in support to lift me up during this difficult time.”