Lizzo’s company files new motion to dismiss lawsuit
Lizzo’s Big Grrrl touring company has filed a new motion to dismiss the lawsuit accusing the singer and her company of sexual harassment, discrimination and fat-shaming, among other charges.
The American singer and her touring company face a string of claims from dancers Crystal Williams, Arianna Davis and Noelle Rodriguez, dating between 2021 and 2023.
The lawsuit, filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court in August, accuses Lizzo (real name Melissa Jefferson) of creating a hostile work environment in addition to allegations of religious and racial harassment, disability discrimination, assault and false imprisonment. The 35-year-old and choreographer Tanisha Scott are also accused of body-shaming.
Lizzo has now described the lawsuit as a “fabricated sob story” and has filed her own motion asking the court to dismiss it.
As reported by Rolling Stone, the singer and her representatives allege that the dancers in question had shown a “pattern of gross misconduct”.
The filing states: “Plaintiffs missed flights, arrived late and hungover to rehearsals and drunk to performances, entered into consensual sexual relationships with male crew members on tour, exhibited a rapid decline in the quality of their dancing and professionalism, and ultimately conspired to make and disseminate an unauthorized recording of a creative meeting with Lizzo and the dance cast.”
The singer and her representatives allege that the dancers in question had shown a “pattern of gross misconduct”
Included in the motion are written declarations from 18 of Lizzo’s employees disputing the claims first filed by a trio of former dancers.
The motion asks the court to dismiss the lawsuit under the anti-SLAPP (Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation) statute, which has the power to strike down lawsuits that threaten free speech.
The three dancers are represented by the attorney Neama Rahmani, who told Rolling Stone: “Even a first-year law student can see that ‘free speech’ does not cover Lizzo and her team’s illegal sexual harassment and racial, religious, and disability discrimination. The defense’s declarants are either defendants accused of wrongdoing, or people who are on Lizzo’s payroll, and their statements can’t be considered by the judge. That’s a question for the jury.
“Our clients have dozens of independent witnesses who support their stories, and we continue to receive inquiries from other former Lizzo employees who want to be new plaintiffs.”
In August, the attorney claimed that his firm is reviewing at least six new complaints about the singer.
In September, Lizzo’s personal legal team issued court documents asking the judge to dismiss the lawsuit “in its entirety”.
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