Lawsuit Alleges Bullying and Sexual Harassment: Lizzo Faces Legal Action from Former Employee

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Another former employee has sued Lizzo, alleging that she was subjected to bullying as well as sexual and racial harassment in a “unsafe, sexually charged workplace culture.”

Lawyers representing Asha Daniels, 35, a fashion designer who developed clothes for dancers on Lizzo’s tour, filed a case against the singer and several members of her staff, including wardrobe manager Amanda Nomura, in Los Angeles superior court on Thursday.

The complaint filed on Thursday comes little over a month after four of Lizzo’s tour dancers filed a lawsuit accusing her of sexual harassment and weight-shaming in various incidences between 2021 and 2023.

In an August statement, Lizzo disputed the charges, stating, “These sensationalised stories are coming from former employees who have already publicly admitted that they were told their behaviour on tour was inappropriate and unprofessional.”

According to the latest complaint, which NBC saw, Nomura accused the performers of being “fat,” “useless,” and “dumb,” and of forcing them to change in front of primarily white male stage staff members who would “lewdly gawk” at them.

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Lawsuit Reveals Graphic Group Chat Involving Lizzo’s Tour Team

In accordance to The Hollywood Reporter, which also reviewed the lawsuit, there was a group chat consisting of over 30 people from the Big Grrrl Big Touring team “which included Lizzo tour management and Plaintiff,” and that “a backstage manager sent a photo graphically depicting male genitalia” in the group message.

The complaint says that when Lizzo’s tour landed in Amsterdam, Daniels witnessed Nomura and other supervisors “discussing hiring sex workers for lewd acts, attending sex shows, and buying hard drugs,” and that she was forced to participate in the activities.

“On several occasions, Nomura made statements and/or took physical actions to threaten Plaintiff and the entire crew: (1) she threatened Plaintiff and others that she would ‘kill a bitch’ and’stab a bitch’ if she couldn’t find her medication,” the complaint said. (2) In retribution for stating she was considering quitting, she pushed a crew worker. (3) Nomura grabbed food from the hand of a local worker for attempting to take an assigned break.”

Daniels also claimed to have worked an arduous schedule that included 20-hour daily stints. She went on to say that Nomura “frequently denied her breaks” and “monitored and policed” team members under her direction.

Daniels’ ankle was damaged as she was pushing a garment rack, and when she switched to orthopaedic shoes, Nomura allegedly ordered her to change back into her tennis shoes.

According to the lawsuit, Daniels told the tour manager, Carlina Gugliotta, who is also a defendant, about “widespread racial and sexual harassment” in which “Black dancers were being mocked, objectified, and denied accommodations” in February. Daniels, on the other hand, maintains that her objections were ignored and that she was fired before the end of her contract.

Daniels said that she felt like she was “living in a madhouse” throughout her tour experiences.

“It was very startling… “I was listening to this Black woman on this huge stage have this message of self-love and caring for others and being empathetic and being strong and standing up for others,” she said, adding, “and I was witnessing myself, the dancers, the background vocalists, and my local team being harassed and bullied on a regular basis.”

In reaction to the complaint, a Lizzo representative told NBC that Daniels’ lawyer, Ron Zambrano, was seeking to “sully” a humanitarian award that Lizzo is set to receive from the Black Music Action Coalition on Thursday night.

The complaint, according to the spokesman, is a “bogus, absurd publicity stunt lawsuit” filed by someone who “never actually met or even spoke with Lizzo.”

 

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Source: The Guardian

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