In a new complaint filed this week, three of Lizzo’s former dancers accused her of sexual harassment and creating a toxic work environment.
According to the documents, the 35-year-old Grammy winner, actual name Melissa Viviane Jefferson, allegedly encouraged one of them to touch a naked performer at an Amsterdam club and also ‘drew attention’ to a performer’s weight gain.
Arianna Davis and Crystal Williams, two of the dancers, were hired by Lizzo after participating on her reality programme, Watch Out for the Big Grrrls, in 2021, but were both sacked.
Noella Rodriguez, the third dancer, was recruited the same year but quit in 2023.
Lizzo has yet to reply to the allegations, and the revelation of her alleged wrongdoing has rocked the entertainment industry.
But who are the three dancers who are making these claims?
Raised in Indiana, 24-year-old Arianna Davis has been dancing since the age of two.
Speaking to IndyStar last year, Davis raved: ‘Dance to me is something that you have to do when you don’t have words to express yourself.’
She added: ‘When you can’t sing it, you can’t say it, you can’t act it out. You can’t do anything except physically move to express yourself. When I have no words, I just dance.’
During the epidemic, Davis discovered a casting call for Lizzo’s reality show Watch Out For The Big Grrrls, which went on to win the Emmy for best competitive programme.
Davis was hired to accompany the celebrity on tour.
She also performed at the 2023 Brit Awards alongside Lizzo.
Davis previously stated, ‘I just genuinely want to be a trailblazer and promote joy because I feel like there’s not enough in the industry.’
According to the papers, Lizzo invited her dancers, including Davis, to a strip club following a concert in Amsterdam earlier this year, and while attendance was not required, those who did were supposedly ‘favoured’ by the singer.
According to NBC News, it’s claimed that she ‘began inviting cast members to take turns touching the nude performers, catching dildos launched from the performers’ vaginas, and eating bananas protruding from the performers’ vaginas’, before she ‘began pressuring Ms Davis to touch the breasts of one of the nude women’.
Lizzo is also accused of making comments about Davis’ weight during a performance at SXSW and telling the dancer she appeared ‘less devoted’ to her part – an encounter characterised in legal filings as a ‘thinly disguised’ reference to her weight.
Crystal Williams, 26, is from Texas but now lives in Los Angeles as a result of her triumph on Watch Out For The Big Grrrls.
She began dancing with a religious group in fifth grade.
Williams earned a bachelor’s degree in mass communication from Sam Houston State University in 2020.
Williams joined a university dance group called Fade to Black during her studies, and it was shortly after graduation that she noticed Lizzo’s casting call.
According to Sam Houston State University, Williams was unsure she’d ever make it professionally as a dancer, saying: ‘Being a plus-size woman who just loves to dance, that was something that I was passionate about and something that I did in my spare time.
‘So being a professional dancer never crossed my mind because, in the dance industry, you don’t see a lot of plus-size dancers.’
Before she’d even graduated, Williams appeared in a Megan Thee Stallion video and when she eventually went on to tour the globe with Lizzo, she said of the experience: ‘It’s really fun to travel to different places in other parts of the world because I was only restricted to seeing Texas.
‘Now I’m traveling more than I ever have and making more money than I ever have.’
Lizzo apparently accused Williams of drinking before concerts, which she denied.
USA Today reports that she accused Williams and others of ‘not performing up to par and repeatedly accused the dancers of drinking alcohol before shows even though the dance cast had never partaken in such a practice’, via the paperwork.
Rodriguez, who is also from Texas, is only 25 years old, but she has a wealth of dancing experience.
Instead of performing on Watch Out For The Big Grrrls, the professional dancer was hired by Lizzo after starring in the music video for her smash Rumours.
Rodriguez had a strong resume before to working with Lizzo, having starred as a dancer in HBO’s Euphoria.
Rodriguez appeared during Beyonce’s Coachella act in 2018 and at Janet Jackson’s Billboard Music Awards Icon performance the same year.
Rodriguez allegedly threatened to resign, causing Lizzo to ‘crack her knuckles, ball her fists, and use an obscenity to tell Rodriguez she was ‘fortunate,’ before uttering a slur and raising both middle fingers as the dancer attempted to leave.
The dancers are suing for emotional anguish, unpaid salaries, lost earnings, and attorney’s fees in connection with the accusations, which include sexual, religious, and racial harassment, handicap discrimination, and false imprisonment – but no dollar number has been specified.
Lizzo has yet to respond to the allegations.
Source My Celebrity Life.