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Lizzo Bags Partial Win In Lingering Sexual Harassment Lawsuit

Home / News / Lizzo Bags Partial Win In Lingering Sexual Harassment Lawsuit

By Afouda Bamidele on February 3, 2024 at 10:00 AM EST

Lizzo made some headway in the harassment lawsuit filed against her by her backup dancers last year.

The singer found herself in a shocking legal battle in 2023 that also had her warding off allegations of intimidation from her former workers and is now preparing to finish off the case in front of a grand jury.

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Court Grants Part Of Lizzo's Pleas In Sexual Harassment Countersuit

The Los Angeles County Superior Court's ruling granted by Judge Mark H. Epstein on Wednesday disclosed that the court allowed one-half of Lizzo's request to dismiss the case filed against her by her former dancers.

The singer and her group, Big Grrl, denied "each and every allegation" in the filing made by the former backup dancer trio of Arianna Davis, Crystal Williams, and Noelle Rodriguez.

The plaintiffs claimed they were victims of harassment while they worked and toured with the singer as contestants on her reality TV show "Lizzo's Watch Out for the Big Grrls" in 2021 and performers on her "Special" tour.

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Lizzo at the 65th Grammy Awards
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Judge Epstein stated why he granted a part of Lizzo's demands and dismissed the remaining demands in a 34-page order, as Lizzo also requested a jury trial. Following the ruling, her spokesman Stefan Friedman released a statement to ET, stating:

"We are pleased that Judge Epstein wisely threw out all or part of four of the plaintiff's causes of action. Lizzo is grateful to the judge for seeing through much of the noise and recognizing who she is -- a strong woman who exists to lift others up and spread positivity. We plan to appeal all elements that the judge chose to keep in the lawsuit and are confident we will prevail."

The legal rep of the plaintiff also shared their plans for the trial, which included conducting discovery and preparing a solid case.

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He maintained the dancers were telling their truth, and the claims of "sexual, religious and racial discrimination, sexual harassment, the demeaning visits to the Bananenbar in Amsterdam and Crazy Horse in Paris, false imprisonment, and assault" remains despite the judge throwing out a large chunk of their lawsuit.

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The 'Good As H---' Singer Also Faced Intimidation Allegations Last Year

In the wake of the harassment lawsuit filed last year, Lizzo immediately swung into action by filling a countersuit against her former dancers through her attorney, Marty Singer.

The singer released images of the plaintiffs with cast members of the Crazy Horse cabaret show in Paris on March 2023 as proof that the dancers were never pressured to interact with the performers as they claimed in their filing.

In their statement, Lizzo's team stated that all three dancers resumed their roles on tour with the singer after the Paris event, and Davis, one of the dancers, even sent a video to audition for a spot on Lizzo's TV show in April with the desire to follow in Lizzo's footsteps.

Lizzo performing at O2 Arena
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The attorney noted that the overwhelming evidence provided by his team pointed out the gaps in the backup dancers' story, adding:

"Lizzo intends to sue for malicious prosecution after she prevails and these specious claims are dismissed." 

The legal representative of the backup dancers described Lizzo's legal response as an attempt at intimidation. Attorney Ron Zambrano's statement in August 2023 read:

 "Lizzo's threat to countersue for malicious prosecution is an insidious attempt at intimidation and delivers a chilling effect to all harassment victims in the workplace."

He continued that the singer's legal team adopted a common approach in the entertainment industry, which involved "scare tactics, bullying, and victim-shaming," adding that employees endured the ill treatments as a means to continue gaining access and success in the industry. 

Zambrano was convinced that Lizzo's team was trying to silence potential victims who might want to share similar stories, adding that they were attempting to "suppress the truth and hide her hypocrisy of publishing her brand as one of empowerment and body positivity" while she continued denying women of their freedom and empowerment in private.

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The attorney stated that Lizzo's antics were, in fact, the opposite of women's empowerment, and she was marginalizing them. He maintained that while the inhumane nature of such behavior was a common phenomenon in the entertainment world, it still does not change the fact that it is "morally wrong and unlawful."

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