Lizzo accuser claims she was encouraged to touch nude dancer on night out

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Lizzo accuser claims she was encouraged to touch nude dancer on night out
Lizzo accuser claims she was encouraged to touch nude dancer on night out

One of Lizzo’s former dancers claims she was “mortified” after the singer allegedly pressured her into touching a nude performer during an “explicit” night out in Amsterdam.

Arianna Davis claims she was “singled out” by the Juice singer - who has denied the claims - and felt she “couldn’t get out the situation”. The performer, who also alleges she was fat-shamed by Lizzo, has alleged she didn’t want to go out that night but was already fearing for her job after being “ostracised”.

“It’s an understanding in the camp that if you don’t participate or 'get in' with Lizzo you won’t be booked on as many jobs, she won’t like you as much, you’ll be ostracised later,” Arianna said in a new interview.

She claims Lizzo began chanting her name and got other people in the club to chant along, so she felt she had to do what she said. After “briefly touching” the naked dancer, Arianna said Lizzo and her crew started laughing which made her feel “awkward” and she left the club soon after.

Lizzo accuser claims she was encouraged to touch nude dancer on night out rriddqikeiqtkinvLizzo is being sued by three former dancers who claim she 'fat-shamed' and sexually harassed them (Getty Images)

Arianna made these further claims during an interview with CBS News: “Lizzo is the reason that I specifically was pressured to touch a nude performer. She singled me out at the club that I didn’t want to be at, but was told I couldn’t really back out, since I already said I was going before I knew what it really was.

Lizzo and her new boyfriend go official with 'hard launch' at pre-Grammys bashLizzo and her new boyfriend go official with 'hard launch' at pre-Grammys bash

“So I went, I stayed in the corner, tried to ignore what was happening – a lot of crazy things were happening – and after a lot of explicit things went on, Lizzo saw me, singled me out, she was going around inviting people to touch the nude performer.

“I guess it was my turn – I said ‘No, I’m ok, she said, ‘Come on, do it’. I said no again and she said ‘Ari, Ari’ and then everyone in the club joins in, so of course I had to do it. I couldn’t get out of that situation so I briefly touched and everyone started laughing. It was funny to them because me of all people - they see me as very modest – so me of all people, touching a nude person is like hilarious.

“I was mortified. I even remember trying to cope with how awkward I felt by making a joke about the lotion that the nude performer was wearing. I didn’t know what to do so I just kind of laughed it off. I left soon after that.”

Arianna claims she was also ‘fat-shamed’ by Lizzo following her performance at South by Southwest festival in the US after gaining weight. Although she said this didn’t affect her performance, she alleges Lizzo was “trying to allude to the fact I was gaining weight in a way that she wouldn’t get cancelled”.

Lizzo accuser claims she was encouraged to touch nude dancer on night outArianna Davis claims Lizzo pressured her into touching a naked dancer (CBS NEWS)

She claimed: “It was never ‘You’re getting fat, you’re getting fired’. It was never blatant, it was very nuanced. She stated in one of the meetings that we had – she was basically saying how grateful we should be that she knows our names and she gives us the time of day and was also saying you should be grateful because dancers get fired for gaining weight. And she looked at me, and I don’t know if she remembers that she looked at me, but it always felt like that.”

On another occasion, Ariana alleges she was “cornered” by Lizzo - who brands herself on being body positive – and a choreographer who told her she “didn’t seem the same” and asked what was wrong with her.

“All of these ‘don’t seem the same’ and ‘what’s wrong with you’, ‘we can see right through you’, all of these kind of things have been said to me in a way to mask as a safe space, but really there was this underlying air of ‘why are you bigger’, that’s what it felt like,” she added.

Another former dancer – Crystal Williams – said she thought she had landed her “dream job” when being picked to perform with Lizzo, but she claims “reality set in” and “things quickly started to shift”.

Lizzo accuser claims she was encouraged to touch nude dancer on night outAnother dancer, Crystal Williams, claims Lizzo created a 'hostile' working environment (CBS NEWS)

She said in the same interview: “Before meeting her we had this idea of her, and everybody knows her message and her brand and what she stands for when it comes to body positivity, equality for different races, different genders. Of course with me being a plus-size black woman in America, I did identify with a lot of the things that she stood for.”

Crystal claims she was later told she “wasn’t performing the way you need to” and was fired in a hotel lobby following 'false allegations' that her and other dancers, including Arianna, were drinking before shows.

Lizzo sends fans wild with 'jaw dropping' performance at Grammy AwardsLizzo sends fans wild with 'jaw dropping' performance at Grammy Awards

Asked why she was bringing a lawsuit against Lizzo, Crystal said: “To me I just couldn’t sit with, this was happening. This is a big part of her fanbase, but she’s contradicting everything that she stands for behind the scenes.”

Lizzo, real name Melissa Viviane Jefferson, has reportedly been accused of weight-shaming and sexual harassment in a civil US lawsuit filed against her and others by three dancers. According to the lawsuit, Lizzo is accused of creating a hostile work environment through sexual, racial and religious harassment in several incidents between 2021 and 2023.

But breaking her silence, the 35-year-old branded the claims "false allegations" and said "the last few days have been gut wrenchingly difficult and overwhelmingly disappointing."

In a statement posted to Instagram, Lizzo said: "My work ethic, morals and respectfulness have been questioned. My character has been criticized. Usually I choose not to respond to false allegations but these are as unbelievable as they sound and too outrageous to not be addressed."

She continued: "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. I take my music and my performances seriously because at the end of the day I only want to put out the best art than represents me and my fans. 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."

Lizzo added how she does not want to be "looked at as a victim", writing: "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."

She ended the statement by saying: "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 the world be overshadowed by this. I want to thank everyone who has reached out in support to lift me up during this difficult time."

Katie Wilson

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