Lizzo Sued by Former Tour Dancers Alleging Sexual Harassment and Weight-Shaming

Lizzo (Credit: Shutterstock)

Lizzo has been hit with a lawsuit filed by three of her former tour dancers alleging they were subjected to sexual harassment and a hostile work environment.

NBC News obtained a copy of the suit, which was filed Tuesday, Aug. 1, in Los Angeles County Superior Court.

The dancers listed in the lawsuit are Arianna Davis, Crystal Williams and Noelle Rodriguez.

Among their complaints, the dancers allege Lizzo pressured them to attend a sex show at a strip club in Amsterdam’s Red Light District, then pushed them to engage in sexual encounters with the performers.

“Lizzo 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,” the lawsuit claims. “Lizzo then turned her attention to Ms. Davis and began pressuring Ms. Davis to touch the breasts of one of the nude women.”

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Watch Out for the Big Grrrls (Credit: Amazon Prime Video)
Two of the dancers competed on ‘Watch Out for the Big Grrrls’ (Credit: Prime Video)

The suit also alleges Lizzo — who is known for her body positivity message — “called attention” to one dancer’s weight gain following a performance at the South by Southwest (SXSW) festival. The suit claims the dancer was never told directly, but was led to believe that she “needed to explain her weight gain and disclose intimate personal details about her life in order to keep her job.”

Davis and Williams began performing with Lizzo after competing on her Amazon reality series, Watch Out for the Big Grrrls in 2021, according to the lawsuit. The dancers were later fired. Rodriguez was hired after performing in the singer’s “Rumors” music video, the suit says. Rodriguez resigned earlier this year.

“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,” the dancers’ attorney Ron Zambrano said in a statement.

The lawsuit names Lizzo, whose real name is Melissa Jefferson, her BIG Grrrl Big Touring Inc., and dance captain Shirlene Quigley.

The suit claims Quigley tried to force her Christian beliefs onto the dancers, criticized those who had premarital sex, and publicly discussed the virginity of one of the plaintiffs. The lawsuit also claims Quigley referred to Davis as a “non-believer” and told co-workers that “no job and no one will stop me from talking about the Lord.”

The legal complaint seeks unspecified damages

Representatives for Lizzo and Quigley did not immediately respond to NBC’s requests for comment.