Lizzo’s legal team received signed declarations from 18 of the Grammy winner’s staffers who dispute the claims made in a scathing lawsuit filed by three of her ex-dancers, Page Six has learned.
According to court documents filed in the Los Angeles Superior Court on Friday and obtained by us exclusively, dancers, choreographers and musicians who have taken part in Lizzo’s touring company allege they never witnessed or experienced body-shaming, racism or other forms of harassment during their tenure with the pop star.
Dancer Arianna Davis claimed in the original suit that the “Juice” singer allegedly called out her weight gain even though she had disclosed to management that she battles binge eating, depression and anxiety.
However, dancer Melissa Locke claims in her statement, “Having worked with Lizzo for years, it is my personal belief that Lizzo would never body shame anyone, including Davis, or comment on her weight in a negative and hurtful manner.”
Jayla Sullivan, a dancer and contestant on “Lizzo’s Watch Out for the Big Grrrls,” adds in her declaration that she “never observed” Lizzo shaming Davis or co-plaintiff Crystal Williams, adding, “Lizzo inspired all of us to celebrate and love ourselves and our bodies as we are.”
Asia Banks — who describes herself as the “biggest dancer on tour” in the filing — says in her statement, “Lizzo assembled an entire group of plus-size dancers to showcase our talent and celebrate us.”
The new declarations also dispute the plaintiffs’ recollections about a team outing at Bananenbar, an adult entertainment club in Amsterdam in which the ex-dancers claimed they were forced to participate in inappropriate sexual acts.
Per the original suit, Lizzo allegedly pressured dancers to take turns “touching nude performers, [catch] dildos launched from the performers’ vaginas and [eat] bananas protruding from the performers’ vaginas.”
However, drummer Michel’le Baptiste states in her declaration that she saw Davis at the bar during the night in question and the dancer allegedly “did not look uncomfortable.”
“She was having a great time, just like we all were,” the musician further claims.
Dancer Melissa Locke states in her declaration that she spoke with Davis and her co-plaintiff Noelle Rodriguez the morning after Bananenbar.
“They never said they felt uncomfortable or pressured,” she alleges in her statement. “They were very enthusiastic about what a great night out they had.
“I remember telling them, ‘That sounds like so much fun, I wish you had woken me up to go with you.’ They agreed that it was a fun night and told me that they went out in the Red Light District after. They did not complain or sound upset in any way.”
Several Lizzo staffers also disputed the claim that they were “pressured” to attend the salacious outings.
In September, stylist Asha Daniels filed a separate harassment lawsuit, in which she claimed she was verbally and physically abused by her manager, Amanda Nomura, while working for Lizzo, further fueling the toxic work environment claims from the first accusers.
She also claimed that “racist and fat-phobic” comments were hurled at her without consequences.
However, the new declarations also deny that Lizzo would ever support racist behavior, with dancer Chawnta Van stating, “To be clear, I never experienced or witnessed racism during the tour.
“Lizzo is a strong Black woman and supporting and empowering Black women is a pivotal part of who she is. She would never tolerate any racism on tour.”
Another dancer, Kiara Mooring, also disputes Rodriguez’s claim that Lizzo once almost got physical with her during a heated altercation.
“I am familiar with the allegation in the complaint that Rodriguez was in fear of being physically attacked by Lizzo during the May 3, 2023 meeting when she resigned,” the performer says.
“I was at that meeting… Lizzo never got near Rodriguez or in her face. Her voice got higher because she was upset and felt that her trust was betrayed.”
Mooring adds, “Again, I think she was justified in being upset. Although things could have been handled more calmly, I do not believe it ever would have escalated to a physical altercation between Lizzo and Rodriguez.”
There are several declarations that also defend dance captain Shirlene Quigley — another defendant in Lizzo’s suit — who was accused of imposing her religious beliefs onto her colleagues.
The staffers’ signed statements are Lizzo’s attorneys’ latest attempt to have “most if not all” of the claims made in the original lawsuit — which accused the “Truth Hurts” singer in part of sexual harassment and discrimination — dismissed.
In September, Lizzo argued via her lawyers that there were at least 31 lines of defense for why Davis, Rodriguez and Williams’ case should be thrown out.
The “About Damn Time” singer, 35, stated in part that the pro dancers allegedly “ratified, acquiesced, condoned and/or approved of the acts” mentioned in the suit.
She also pointed out that the staffers’ contracts had “anti-discrimination and anti-harassment policies and complaint procedures in place,” which the dancers allegedly “failed” to make available to themselves.
The “Good as Hell” singer, whose real name is Melissa Jefferson, requested a trial by jury at the time.
The plaintiffs’ lawyer Neama Rahmani told Page Six in response to Lizzo’s request for dismissal that the pop star’s answer “consists of boilerplate objections that have nothing to do with the case,” adding, “The only takeaway is that Lizzo agrees to our clients’ demand for a jury trial.”
Although several former staffers have now come forward to defend Lizzo, there have also been ex-colleagues who have co-signed Davis, Rodriguez and Williams’ allegations in the past.
In August, dancer Courtney Hollinquest, who was not affiliated with the suit, concurred that the dancer’s experience “was very much [her] experience” when working for the “Rumors” singer.
Lizzo’s former creative director Quinn Whitney Wilson added on social media at the time, “I very much applaud the dancers courage to bring this to light. and I grieve parts of my own experience.”
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Director Sophia Nahli Allison, who worked with the singer on her “Love, Lizzo” documentary, then called the flautist “arrogant, self-centered and unkind.”
Lizzo has only directly addressed the allegations made against her once via an Instagram post days after the first lawsuit was filed, calling the claims “false” and stating she would “never criticize or terminate an employee because of their weight.”
She also wrote in part at the time, “My work ethic, morals and respectfulness have been questioned. My character has been criticized. … I am hurt but I will not let the good work I’ve done in the world be overshadowed by this.”
Page Six has reached out to the defendants’ attorney for comment but did not immediately hear back.