Judge Rules Lawsuit Against Lizzo by Former Dancers Will Move Forward

LOS ANGELES — A judge denied Lizzo’s request to dismiss the lawsuit filed by three of her former dancers, signaling that the legal battle will proceed. Judge Mark H. Epstein ruled that Lizzo’s argument for dismissal did not entirely align with the case, although certain aspects of her defense did. The ruling was made in Los Angeles County Superior Court.

The judge did, however, dismiss some of the accusations made by the plaintiffs against Lizzo and her team, including allegations of fat-shaming by the singer. Epstein also stated that requiring dancers to pose nude for Lizzo’s show, “Watch Out for the Big Grrrls,” was a protected part of the creative process, falling under the umbrella of free speech.

Acknowledging the complexities of the case, Epstein emphasized the challenge of finding the right balance between protected speech and allegations of misconduct or discrimination. Stefan Friedman, a spokesperson for Lizzo, expressed gratitude for the dismissal of certain claims and stated that they plan to appeal the remaining elements of the lawsuit.

The initial lawsuit, filed in August by Arianna Davis, Crystal Williams, and Noelle Rodriguez, accused Lizzo of creating a hostile work environment and sexually harassing her employees. Dance captain Shirlene Quigley and Lizzo’s production company, Big Grrrl Big Touring, Inc., were also named as defendants. The lawsuit alleged that Quigley proselytized to the dancers, including shaming those who engaged in premarital sex.

Lizzo has strongly denied all allegations brought against her, referring to them as false, unbelievable, and outrageous. A spokesperson for the plaintiffs’ attorney considered Epstein’s ruling a victory and emphasized that being a celebrity does not protect someone from reprehensible conduct.

In addition to this lawsuit, Lizzo is also facing a separate legal battle. A former employee, a fashion designer, filed a lawsuit alleging that Lizzo’s wardrobe manager mocked and bullied employees, including the dancers. Lizzo attempted to have this lawsuit dismissed as well, but the case is still ongoing.

The judge’s decision to allow the lawsuit to proceed represents a significant development in the legal challenges faced by Lizzo. The outcome of these cases will ultimately determine the impact on her reputation and future endeavors.