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Lizzo’s former dancers accuse star of ‘gaslighting’ over denial of weight-shaming and sexual harassment allegations | Ents & Arts Information

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Two of the dancers suing Lizzo over claims of weight-shaming and sexual and racial harassment have informed Sky Information they really feel the US singer is “gaslighting” and “sufferer blaming” them by denying their allegations.

Crystal Williams and Noelle Rodriguez, together with a 3rd dancer, Arianna Davis, have filed a lawsuit towards the Grammy-winning star and her manufacturing firm, Massive Grrrl Massive Touring (BGBT), which additionally consists of claims of non secular harassment, incapacity discrimination, assault, and false imprisonment.

In a brand new interview, Ms Williams and Ms Rodriguez mentioned they’ve proof their claims are true and that different dancers – for Lizzo and different stars – have been in contact to share their very own tales since they went public with their claims.

Lizzo has described the claims as ‘sensationalised tales’ coming from disgruntled former staff. Pic: Joel C Ryan/Invision/AP

After information of the lawsuit emerged, Lizzo issued a press release on social media saying she was “not the villain”. The singer, who is known for embracing body positivity, described the allegations as “unbelievable” and “too outrageous to not be addressed”.

In response, Ms Williams mentioned: “Her assertion is simply confirming the sample of each time anyone speaks up or advocates for themselves, like we’re doing now, we get victim-blamed, we get gaslighted. And she or he likes to level the finger as an alternative of addressing the problems which are being introduced up.”

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That is one thing that occurs on an “on a regular basis foundation” when working with stars, she mentioned. “Sadly, we have already skilled not solely dancers which have labored together with her instantly, however dancers which are simply within the leisure trade usually, they’ve already come out they usually’ve shared their tales.

“They really feel courageous sufficient to share their experiences… earlier than folks had been simply silent about it, they did not really feel comfy sufficient. They did not really feel protected sufficient to name these artists out, to name these administration groups out, and allow them to know, hey, what you are doing is unsuitable.”

Ms Rodriguez acknowledged that the claims towards Lizzo could seem “outrageous” to some, however added: “I feel why it could appear sensationalised or simply outrageous, effectively, one is as a result of it’s outrageous. We had been shocked by all of this stuff that occurred to us…

“Sadly, this therapy by administration, artists, you recognize, it is regular within the leisure trade, but it surely sounds so outrageous as a result of I really feel that is the primary time one thing like this has been delivered to gentle so publicly. So, sure, it is outrageous. Sure, all of those claims appear outlandish. However these are our experiences and this actually occurred to us.

“So to only type of deny and sufferer blame and never even take accountability for, ‘I am sorry if that is even the way in which I might need made you are feeling’… it is simply so insensitive and type of invalidates our expertise as a complete. We have now proof of this stuff occurring to us time and time once more. So every part has been documented over time.”

Ms Davis and Ms Williams started dancing with Lizzo after competing on her Amazon actuality present “Watch Out for the Massive Grrrls” in 2021, however had been each later fired. Ms Rodriguez was employed in the identical 12 months after performing within the video for the music Rumours, however resigned earlier this 12 months over the “appalling behaviour”.

In her assertion responding to the lawsuit, Lizzo mentioned: “Often I select not to reply to false allegations however these are as unbelievable as they sound and too outrageous to not be addressed.”

She added: “I’m not right here to be checked out as a sufferer, however I additionally know that I’m not the villain that folks and the media have portrayed me to be these previous couple of days.”

The dancers’ allegations embrace the accusation that Lizzo pressured one among them into touching a nude performer at a membership in Amsterdam’s crimson gentle district.

In addition they allege the captain of Lizzo’s dance group, Shirlene Quigley, tried to transform the performers’ non secular beliefs and derided those that had premarital intercourse, additionally allegedly sharing lewd sexual fantasies and publicly discussing the virginity of one of many complainants.

Lizzo has described the claims as “sensationalised tales” coming from disgruntled former staff.

“As an artist I’ve at all times been very captivated with what I do,” she mentioned in her assertion final week. “I take my music and my performances significantly as a result of on the finish of the day I solely wish to put out the perfect artwork that represents me and my followers.

“With ardour comes arduous work and excessive requirements. Generally I’ve to make arduous choices but it surely’s by no means my intention to make anybody really feel uncomfortable or like they are not valued as an essential a part of the group.”

Lizzo went on to say she is open about her sexuality and expressing herself, “however I can not settle for or enable folks to make use of that openness to make me out to be one thing I’m not”.

She added: “There may be nothing I take extra significantly than the respect we deserve as girls on the planet. I do know what it feels wish to be physique shamed every day and would completely by no means criticise or terminate an worker due to their weight.

“I am damage however I cannot let the great work I’ve carried out on the planet be overshadowed by this. I wish to thank everybody who has reached out in assist to raise me up throughout this troublesome time.”

Sky Information has contacted representatives for Lizzo for remark.

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