Three of Lizzo’s former dancers have reportedly accused her of being a nightmare boss in a lawsuit filed in Los Angeles Tuesday (August 1). The dancers sued the singer, her production company and dance captain, Shirlene Quigley, for creating a hostile work environment and sexual harassment, among other allegations.
Arianna Davis, Noelle Rodriguez and Crystal Williams hired attorney Ron Zambrano to represent them in their case against Lizzo. The trio claimed they were the victims of assault, false imprisonment, racial harassment, religious harassment, disability discrimination and intentional interference with prospective economic advantage.
“The stunning nature of how Lizzo and her management team treated their performers seems to go against everything Lizzo stands for publicly, while privately she weight-shames her dancers and demeans them in ways that are not only illegal but absolutely demoralizing,” Zambrano said in a statement.
Lizzo allegedly weight-shamed Davis and pressured the dancer to touch a nude performer at a strip club in Amsterdam. The lawsuit accused Lizzo of subjecting her dancers to grueling conditions when they re-auditioned for their spots on tour. The dancers weren’t allowed to take a break, which resulted in one of the plaintiffs soiling herself during the re-audition.
The lawsuit claimed Quigley “took every opportunity to proselytize” her Christian beliefs despite objections from the dancers. Quigley was allegedly asked to stop preaching to Rodriguez, whom the dance captain regarded as a “non-believer,” but refused to quit. Quigley allegedly chastised dancers for having premarital sex and publicly discussed Davis’ virginity.
Davis and Williams were fired while Rodriguez resigned from the dance team. Lizzo’s tour manager fired Williams several days after the dancer defended her fellow dancers when Lizzo accused them of drinking before performances. Rodriguez spoke out against Williams’ firing.
According to the lawsuit, Davis was fired for recording a meeting between Lizzo and the dancers. Davis insisted she recorded it to review notes she might’ve missed due to her eye condition. But Lizzo and Quigley allegedly yelled at Davis before firing her over the recording. Rodriguez responded by resigning at the meeting. Lizzo allegedly threatened Rodriguez before leaving.
Davis, Rodriguez and Williams didn’t demand a specific amount of damages in their lawsuit. They sought compensation for unpaid wages, loss of earnings and legal fees.