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Lizzo admits to feeling ‘sad’ and ‘rough’ in emotionally charged interview ahead of lawsuit

The lawsuit has been filed by Lizzo’s ex-backup dancers Arianna, Crystal, and Noelle

Faye James
Senior Editor
7 August 2023
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Ahead of a forthcoming lawsuit filed by three of her former dancers, internationally acclaimed singer Lizzo had an emotionally charged interview with 60 Minutes Australia. 

Initially intended as a shining profile on the star, recent events have somewhat changed its context. In the interview, Lizzo hinted at having a particularly trying day. 

"Even today, I was having a rough day," expressed the 35-year-old artist, her voice tinged with emotion. "I was sad and stuff earlier today." 

Reflecting on her ability to transmute negativity, Lizzo mused, "Maybe I'm transmuting it, or maybe I'm an alchemist."

The lawsuit in question, filed by Lizzo’s ex-backup dancers Arianna, Crystal, and Noelle, contains several serious allegations, ranging from sexual to religious and racial harassment. 

lizzo on stage gold outfit© Steven Ferdman
Lizzo's statement was met with anger by the plaintiffs

The dancers seek compensation for various damages including unpaid wages, emotional distress, and medical expenses, among others.

Breaking her silence on the matter, Lizzo, whose given name is Melissa Jefferson, shared a heartfelt statement on Instagram. "These last few days have been gut wrenchingly difficult and overwhelmingly disappointing," she began. "My work ethic, morals, and respectfulness have been questioned. My character has been criticized."

The Grammy-winning artist characterized the reports as "sensationalized" and stemming from "former employees who have already publicly admitted that they were told their behavior on tour was inappropriate and unprofessional." 

 Lizzo performs at Qudos Bank Arena in Sydney wearing black leather catsuit with neon green detailing© Getty
Lizzo delighted the crowds at the Qudos Bank Arena in Sydney wearing a black leather catsuit with neon green detailing

Emphasizing her commitment to creating a comfortable workspace, she said, "It's never my intention to make anyone feel uncomfortable or like they aren't valued as an important part of the team."

Acknowledging the media portrayal of her in recent days, Lizzo stated: "I also know that I am not the villain that people and the media have portrayed me to be these last few days."

Known for her empowering messages on body positivity and being a beacon of confidence for many, Lizzo took a moment to reiterate her values. 

Lizzo accepts Record Of The Year for "About Damn Time" onstage during the 65th GRAMMY Awards at Arena on February 05, 2023 in Los Angeles, California© Getty Images
Lizzo accepts Record Of The Year for "About Damn Time" onstage during the 65th GRAMMY Awards

"There is nothing I take more seriously than the respect we deserve as women in the world," she said, adding, "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." 

She concluded by expressing gratitude to her supporters, firmly stating, "I will not let the good work I've done in the world be overshadowed by this."

MORE: Lizzo gets vulnerable on stage in blinding gold gown with a high slit

Responding to Lizzo’s statement, Ron Zambrano, the attorney representing the backup dancers, released a statement on their behalf. 

Lizzo performs on The Pyramid Stage © Harry Durrant
Lizzo performs on The Pyramid Stage at Day 4 of Glastonbury Festival 2023

"Lizzo has failed her own brand and has let down her fans," he declared, adding that her comments only exacerbate the trauma for his clients and others who've spoken out about their experiences. 

"While Lizzo notes it was never her intention 'to make anyone feel uncomfortable,' that is exactly what she did to the point of demoralizing her dancers and flagrantly violating the law."

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