OAN’s Abril Elfi
4:54 PM – Thursday, August 3, 2023
Melissa Viviane Jefferson, widely known as the artist Lizzo, took to social media to defend the recent accusations made against her.
On Thursday, the singer-song writer released a four slide post on Instagram where she denied incoming accusations that have been circulating on the internet.
The statement came amid a lawsuit filed against the artist from three former dancers that she reportedly worked with.
“These last few days have been gut-wrenchingly difficult and overwhelmingly disappointing,” her statement reads. “My work ethic, morals and respectfulness have been questioned. Usually I choose not to respond to false allegations but these are as unbelievable as they sound and too outrageous to not be addressed.”
Lizzo, who had risen to fame for her music and for promoting body positivity, is being sued for allegedly sexually assaulting dancers and creating an extremely hostile work environment.
Three dancers, Arianna Davis, Crystal Williams, and Noelle Rodriguez, filed the lawsuit against the singer and her team on August 1st. They claimed that Lizzo had pressured one of them at an Amsterdam strip club to touch a nude performer and that she had put them through an “excruciating” audition after falsely accusing them of drinking at work.
The lawsuit also alleged racial and religious abuse as well as weight-shaming.
A statement was released by the plaintiffs’ attorneys, West Coast Employment Lawyers (WCEL), prior to Lizzo’s response.
“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,” WCEL attorney Ron Zambrano said in the statement.
The grammy-winning artist denied criticizing or terminating an employee due to their weight, citing her personal experiences with body shaming as evidence. She also reiterated her role as an advocate for women, declaring that nothing is more important to her.
“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,” she continued.
The former dancers appeared in an interview this morning and gave their reactions to the artist’s response.
“Personally, looking at the response from Lizzo was so disheartening because she was there,” Davis said. “She was there and to fix your hand, to write on a piece of paper that you discredit everything we’re saying is incredibly frustrating.”
Zambrano ended his closing statement by reportedly claiming that Lizzo had failed her own “brand” and let down her fans.
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