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'I'm Hurt': Lizzo Denies Allegations Of Sexual Harassment, Fat Shaming

The Rapper Said The Allegations Were 'As Unbelievable As They Sound' And 'Too Outrageous To Not Be Addressed'

Rapper and singer Melissa Viviane Jefferson, who performs under the stage name Lizzo, responded to accusations from a Tuesday lawsuit filed by former backup dancers claiming Lizzo created a hostile work environment and harassed former associates.

In an Instagram post, Lizzo addressed allegations from former backup dancers saying the last few days had been “gut wrenchingly difficult” and “overwhelmingly disappointing.”

“My work ethic, morals and respectfulness have been questioned. My character has been criticized,” she wrote, adding the allegations were “as unbelievable as they sound” and “too outrageous to not be addressed.”

“These sensationalized stories are coming from former employees who have already publicly 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 performances seriously because at the end of the day I only want to put out the best art that represents me and my fans,” she continued. “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.”

She continued:

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 this world be overshadowed by this,” she concluded, thanking those that have reached out to express support for the performer.

Lizzo is accused of encouraging former dancers to touch nude performers along with “catching dildos launched from [nude] performers’ vaginas” while at an Amsterdam strip club earlier this year. The rapper also allegedly encouraged the dancers to eat bananas “protruding from the [nude] performer’s vaginas.”

“Plaintiffs were aghast with how little regard Lizzo showed for the bodily autonomy of her employees and those around her, especially in the presence of many people whom she employed,” the suit reads per NBC News.

The rapper was also accused of harassing one dancer due to weight gain by claiming the performer was “less committed” to her role in the production.

Shirlene Quigley, the captain of Lizzo’s dance team, is also accused of harassing performers who engaged in premarital sex. The captain also reportedly shared sexual fantasies, simulated oral sex, and discussed one performer’s virginity.

“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,” said lawyer Ron Zambrano in a statement.

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