Lizzo’s appearance at the Grammy Awards on Sunday has been slammed by the lawyer representing three dancers who have accused the singer of sexual harassment.
In what was a controversial choice for organisers, Lizzo, 35, whose full name is Melissa Viviane Jefferson, stood in front of millions to present the award for Best R&B song.
Barrister Neama Rahmani, who represents Lizzo’s accusers, has questioned why the Recording Academy gave the singer such a platform amid the controversy.
Neama told TMZ he was disappointed the singer was given the job to present the award, given the civil lawsuit she is facing.
The lawyer claimed bosses were ‘turning a blind eye because she’s a woman’. Lizzo, who has denied ‘each and every allegation’ brought against her by dancers Arianna Davis, Crystal Williams and Noelle Rodriguez in September, came out to applause.
Lizzo ‘s appearance at the Grammy Awards on Sunday has been slammed by the lawyer representing three dancers who have accused the singer of sexual harassment
Barrister Neama Rahmani, who represents Lizzo’s accusers, has questioned why the Recording Academy gave her such a platform amid the controversy
The singer, who has stepped out the spotlight in recent months, even danced to her own song, About Damn Time, briefly before presenting.
MailOnline has contacted Recording Academy for comment.
The Grammy-winning vocalist said in response to the suit that Davis, Williams and Rodriguez were ‘guilty of unclean hands’ as they had committed ethical breaches in regards to the lawsuit.
In August, Davis, Williams and Rodriguez said in a court filing Lizzo pressured them to engage with nude performers at an Amsterdam club; and shamed one of them for her weight gain before firing her.
In the civil lawsuit filed August 1, the trio accused Lizzo of pressuring her dancers to physically engage with sex workers at a club in Amsterdam’s Red Light District this past February while on tour in the area.
The plaintiffs made numerous charges including sexual, religious and racial harassment, disability discrimination, assault and false imprisonment.
The legal complaint seeks unspecified damages and names Lizzo, her production company Big Grrrl Big Touring, Inc., and Shirlene Quigley, captain of the performer’s dance team.
In what was a controversial choice for organisers, Lizzo, 35, whose full name is Melissa Viviane Jefferson, stood in front of millions to present the award for Best R&B song
The dancers suing the singer Noelle Rodriguez, Arianna Davis and Crystal Williams
She did not reference the controversy before announcing the award. Lizzo and SZA embraced upon winning the award
The court filing claims after performing a concert in Amsterdam, Lizzo and her crew attended a sexually themed show at a club in the city’s notorious Red Light District where ‘Lizzo began inviting cast members to take turns touching the nude performers.’
During the show, Lizzo led a chant pressuring Davis to touch the breasts of one of the nude women performing at the club, the filing states.
The dancers said they were pressured to ‘take turns touching the nude performers, catching dildos launched from the performers’ vaginas, and eating bananas protruding from the performers’ vaginas.
‘Finally, the chorus became overwhelming, and a mortified Ms. Davis acquiesced in an attempt to bring an end to the chants,’ the complaint states.
It continued: ‘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 About Damn Time songstress- who has also been sued by a former wardrobe assistant over toxic workplace claims – said in her response that the dancers suing her ‘ratified, acquiesced, condoned and/or approved of the acts’ at the time they occurred.
The Good as Hell performer said contracts the dancers signed when they joined her tour were ‘subject to arbitration,’ and gave them the chance to ‘mediate in good faith’ before going public with the suit.
Lizzo’s legal team said the artist’s business had implemented ‘anti-discrimination and anti-harassment policies and complaint procedures’ that the dancers ‘failed’ to follow via internal protocols.
Lizzo said there was no evidence that the dancers suffered damages or losses due to the singer’s actions.
Lizzo last month issued a statement pushing back on the allegations
A spokesperson for the singer, Stefan Friedman, said the artist would vigorously defend herself amid the allegations.
‘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,’ Friedman said. ‘Whether it comes to promoting body positivity, leading a safe and supportive workplace or protecting individuals from any kind of harassment.
‘Any and all claims to the contrary are ridiculous, and we look forward to proving so in a court of law.’
The attorney representing the dancers, Neama Rahmani, told DailyMail.com in a statement that ‘Lizzo’s answer merely consists of boilerplate objections that have nothing to do with the case.’
Rahmani said that ‘the key takeaway’ of the recent legal proceedings ‘is that Lizzo is agreeing to our clients’ demand for a jury trial.
‘We look forward to presenting our case in court and letting a panel of her peers decide who is telling the truth, Lizzo and her team who continue to shame the victims or the plaintiffs and so many others who have come forward sharing similar stories of abuse and harassment.’
In a rebuttal statement she posted to Instagram last month, Lizzo called the accusations ‘sensationalized’ and said the dancers suing her ‘have already publicly admitted that they were told their behavior on tour was inappropriate and unprofessional.’
She added: ‘Usually I choose not to respond to false allegations but these are as unbelievable as they sound and too outrageous to not be addressed … I am hurt but I will not let the good work I’ve done in the world be overshadowed by this.’