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Former wardrobe designer files lawsuit against Lizzo, claiming new instances of harassment | Entertainment and Arts News

Lizzo is facing a new lawsuit from a former wardrobe designer on her tour who says she was subjected to fat shaming and racism while working for the Grammy award winner.

It comes after three of the pop star’s backing dancers sued her for sexual harassment, racial harassment and creating a hostile work environment.

Lizzo denies all the claims against her, calling it a “sham lawsuit”.

Asha Daniels, a clothing designer, designed the wardrobe for the dancers who were on Lizzo’s 2023 tour. She reported to Amanda Nomura, Lizzo’s wardrobe manager.

Daniels says she was the subject of “racist and fatphobic comments from Nomura”.

Her lawsuit alleges she heard Nomura “mock both Lizzo and Lizzo’s background dancers on multiple occasions. Nomura would imitate the dancers and Lizzo by doing an offensive stereotypical impression of a Black woman. Nomura would also refer to Black women on the tour as ‘dumb’, ‘useless’, and ‘fat’.”

Lizzo, whose given name is Melissa Jefferson, is named in the lawsuit alongside her production company Big Grrrl Big Touring, Inc (BGBT), Nomura, and her tour manager Carlina Gugliotta.

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From August – In full: Lizzo’s ex-dancers speak out

Lizzo accused of ‘condoning sexual workplace culture’

The lawsuit says Daniels was forced to endure sexual harassment by Lizzo’s management, specifically in one instance being on a group text with more than 30 members of the BGBT team that included graphic and disturbing images of male genitalia.

“Lizzo’s management found the image to be comical, further encouraging an unsafe, sexually charged workplace culture,” the lawsuit states. It adds it was “a culture that has been nurtured and condoned by Lizzo”.

Daniels also says she witnessed Nomura, the crew and Lizzo’s management team openly discussing hiring sex workers for lewd acts while on tour in Amsterdam, attending sex shows and buying hard drugs.

She began work on Lizzo’s tour in February 2023.

Daniels says she was forced to work 20-hour days, often seven days a week and was frequently denied breaks, the lawsuit alleges.

According to the complaint, Daniels was instructed by Nomura not to have direct contact with Lizzo because she would be jealous of her, and that if she did, she should “tone it down”.

Nomura specifically told Daniels not to dress attractively in front of Lizzo, according to the lawsuit.

Award for Lizzo ‘timed to repair damage to brand’

Lizzo is set to receive the Quincy Jones Humanitarian Award presented by the Black Music Action Coalition today.

Daniels’ lawyer said the timing is cynical.

“The timing of this award’s announcement stinks of an architected PR stunt by Lizzo’s team aimed at trying to repair the damage done to her brand,” said Ron Zambrano, a partner at West Coast Employment Lawyers.

“It won’t work. With Lizzo’s attack on the other plaintiffs, we’ve heard from more than two dozen former Lizzo employees sharing similar stories of abuse and harassment who could be potential new plaintiffs. This is not going away.”

Read more:
Lizzo’s future is hanging in the balance
Beyoncé gives Lizzo shout-out in latest performance

Stefan Friedman, a spokesperson for Lizzo, said: “As Lizzo receives a Humanitarian Award tonight from the Black Music Action Coalition for the incredible charitable work she has done to lift up all people, an ambulance-chasing lawyer tries to sully this honour by recruiting someone to file a bogus, absurd publicity-stunt lawsuit who, wait for it, never actually met or even spoke with Lizzo.

“We will pay this as much attention as it deserves. None.”

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