Lizzo Denies Harassment Allegations Against Her: ‘I Am Not the Villain’

"Usually, I choose not to respond to false allegations but these are as unbelievable as they sound and too outrageous to not be addressed," she wrote.

Lizzo Denies Harassment Allegations Against Her: ‘I Am Not the Villain’
Photo:Kevin Mazur / Contributor (Getty Images)

Two days after a bombshell lawsuit was filed in a Los Angeles court against Lizzo by three of her former backup dancers, the singer has finally responded. Lizzo posted a statement on her social media accounts calling the sexual, racial, and religious harassment/discrimination allegations against her, her production company, and her dance captain, Shirlene Quigley, “unbelievable” and “outrageous.”

The full statement reads:

“These last few days have been gut-wrenchingly difficult and overwhelmingly disappointing. 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 to not be addressed.
“These sensationalized stories are coming from former employees who have already publically 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. 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.
“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. There is nothing I take more seriously than the respect we deserve as women in the world. 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.
“I’m hurt but I will not let the good work I’ve done in the world be overshadowed by this. I want to thank everyone who has reached out in support to lift me up during this difficult time.”

Lizzo’s team also provided TMZ with one of the plaintiffs, Arianna Davis’, audition tape for Season 2 of Lizzo’s Watch Out for the Big Grrrls. In the video, which was reportedly filmed in April 2023 (the month before Davis was fired), Davis calls Lizzo “the queen.” Lizzo’s lawyer, Marty Singer, who also represents Jonah Hill, said, “These do not sound like the worlds of someone who was harassed or discriminated against.”

In the two days since the lawsuit was filed, more former employees and colleagues have spoken out about their negative experiences with the performer. Documentary filmmaker Sophia Nahli Allison said she quit the documentary she was filming about Lizzo because the artist was “arrogant, self-centered, and unkind.”

The plaintiffs’ lawyer responded in a statement on Thursday:

“Lizzo has failed her own brand and has let down her fans. Her denial of this reprehensible behavior only adds to our clients’ emotional distress. The dismissive comments and utter lack of empathy are quite telling about her character and only serve to minimize the trauma she has caused the plaintiffs and other employees who have now come forward sharing their own negative experiences. While Lizzo notes it was never her intention ‘to make anyone feel uncomfortable,’ that is exactly what she did to the point of demoralizing her dancers and flagrantly violating the law.”

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