Lizzo wants the harassment lawsuit tossed or a jury trial.
According to court documents obtained by Page Six attorneys for the “About Damn Time” singer, 35, list at least 31 lines of defense that explain why the suits should be tossed out.
However, the Grammy winner is also requesting a trial by jury in response to the complaints.
In the new docs, Lizzo denies “each and every allegation” made against her, citing as one of her defenses that her ex-dancers are “guilty of unclean hands,” which is a legal term that accuses the plaintiff of participating in anything “unethical in relation to the subject of the lawsuit.”
In August, dancers Arianna Davis, Crystal Williams and Noelle Rodriguez sued the “Truth Hurts” singer, her production company, Big Grrrl Touring, Inc. and dance captain Shirlene Quigley for sexual and religious harassment, a hostile work environment, disability discrimination and other claims.
Among the most damning allegations was the claim that Lizzo “pressured” her staff to attend sex shows, in which cast members were encouraged to “take turns touching the nude performers, catching dildos launched from the performers’ vaginas, and eating bananas protruding from the performers’ vaginas,” per the original complaint.
A fourth former employee, Asha Daniels, then filed her own suit earlier this month.
She claimed she was verbally and physically abused by her manager, Amanda Nomura, when she worked as a wardrobe designer for Lizzo, accusing the pop star of fostering a toxic work environment.
However, Lizzo claims in her response that all the plaintiffs “ratified, acquiesced, condoned and/or approved of the acts” mentioned in the suit.
She also notes via her attorneys that the dancers had an option to “mediate in good faith” the issues in their complaint, claiming that her ex-staffers’ contracts note they are “subject to arbitration.”
Lizzo’s lawyers also point out that the singer’s team had “anti-discrimination and anti-
harassment policies and complaint procedures in place,” which they claim the dancers “failed” to make available to themselves so that they could follow proper internal procedures.
“Defendants’ conduct was justified,” the court papers also state.
Lizzo also argues that in her defense there is no proof that her dancers suffered damages or losses because of her conduct and not their own or those of other entities.
We’re told the filing appears to be the first of many legal efforts the musician, whose real name is Melissa Jefferson, will take to seek justice for herself.
“This is the first step of a legal process in which Lizzo and her team will demonstrate that they have always practiced what they’ve preached – whether it comes to promoting body positivity, leading a safe and supportive workplace or protecting individuals from any kind of harassment,” Lizzo’s spokesperson, Stefan Friedman, tells Page Six exclusively.
“Any and all claims to the contrary are ridiculous, and we look forward to proving so in a court of law.”
The plaintiffs’ attorney Neama Rahmani tells Page Six in response, “Lizzo’s answer consists of boilerplate objections that have nothing to do with the case. The only takeaway is that Lizzo agrees to our clients’ demand for a jury trial.”
The LA-based lawyer concludes, “We look forward to presenting our case to twelve men and women in the community who will decide who is telling the truth: Lizzo and her spokespeople or the multiple victims who have and continue to come forward sharing very similar stories of abuse and harassment.”
In August, Lizzo slammed the “sensationalized” allegations made against her in a statement on Instagram.
She wrote in part at the time,
“It’s never my intention to make anyone feel uncomfortable or like they aren’t valued as an important part of the team,” before concluding, “I am hurt but I will not let the good work I’ve done in the world be overshadowed by this.”