What did Lizzo do and what has she said about the accusations against her? A look into the situation as the singer speaks out

'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 singing on stage
(Image credit: Getty)

What did Lizzo do, according to the unexpected allegations that have recently come to light? In a surprise to fans everywhere, three of the rapper's former performers filed a lawsuit against the artist, her production company, and dance captain, Shirlene Quigley, on Tuesday, August 1, alleging sexual harassment and a hostile work environment. On Thursday, August 3, Lizzo then took to Instagram to speak out against the allegations.

Given that the "Truth Hurts" singer is known for embracing body positivity and promoting inclusivity through her music, Yitty Shapewear line, and Amazon reality series, Watch Out For The Big Grrrls, these claims paint a completely different picture. We'll tell you everything you need to know—including what Lizzo has said in response.

What did Lizzo do, according to her former dancers?

Arianna Davis and Crystal Williams, who were fired, and Noelle Rodriguez, who resigned, are not only accusing Lizzo (real name Melissa Viviane Jefferson) and her team of sexual harassment and hostility, but the suit alleges religious and racial harassment, false imprisonment, and interference with prospective economic advantage, among other issues. Not every claim was brought against each defendant, according to NBC News.

The women's attorney, Ron Zambrano, released a statement saying, “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."

What are the Lizzo allegations? Inside the Lizzo lawsuit

The women make various claims in the lawsuit, but there are several accusations against the singer herself. 

Per the dancers, Lizzo had pressured her team to touch nude performers at an Amsterdam club; inappropriately called attention to Davis' physique after a performance at South by Southwest (SXSW) music festival; ignored her team's complaints about dance captain, Shirlene Quigley, who was proselytizing the staff and discussing her erotic fantasies; and did not give her staff an option about attending a nude cabaret bar, a visit which was meant to act as inspiration for their routines, and one that allegedly gave staffers greater job security. 

Given that fans have come to resonate with the musician, model, Chris Evans DM-er, and positivity queen, this news is definitely not something outsiders could've predicted. Watch this space for updates as the story develops.

What has Lizzo said in response to the allegations?

On Thursday, August 3, Lizzo took to her Instagram page to speak out against the allegations.

"These last few days have been gut wrenchingly difficult and overwhelmingly disappointing," started the singer. "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 sensationalised stories are coming from former employees who have already publicly admitted that they were told their behavior on tour was inappropriate and unprofessional."

The star went on to write: "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 standard. 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," she continued. "I am very open with my sexuality and expressing but I cannot accept or allow people to use that opened to make me out to be something I am not. There is nothing I take more seriously than the respect we deserve as woman 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 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."

Danielle Valente
Digital News Writer

Need a TV show recommendation? Maybe a few decor tips? Danielle, a digital news writer at Future, has you covered. Her work appears throughout the company’s lifestyle brands, including My Imperfect Life, Real Homes, and woman&home. Mainly, her time is spent at My Imperfect Life, where she’s attuned to the latest entertainment trends and dating advice for Gen Z.

Before her time at Future, Danielle was the editor of Time Out New York Kids, where she got to experience the best of the city from the point of view of its littlest residents. Before that, she was a news editor at Elite Daily. Her work has also appeared in Domino, Chowhound, and amNewYork, to name a few. 

When Danielle’s not writing, you can find her testing out a new recipe, reading a book (suggestions always welcome), or rearranging the furniture in her apartment…again.