Lizzo Motions to Block Former Employee's Harassment Lawsuit

A lawyer for Asha Daniels, who worked as a tour wardrobe designer, called the filing an attempt to "shift blame to the victim"

Photo: Raph_PH

BY Megan LaPierrePublished Dec 19, 2023

Lizzo's lawyers have filed a motion to prevent the latest harassment lawsuit against her from going to court.

Back in September, Asha Daniels sued the pop star and her Big Grrl Big Touring, Inc. over the working conditions she faced as a tour wardrobe designer earlier this year, alleging that she was subjected to 20-hour shifts without breaks, and suing for racial and sexual harassment, disability discrimination, illegal retaliatory termination and assault. A spokesperson for the artist denied Daniels's claims, calling the lawsuit "a bogus, absurd publicity stunt."

In the motion to dismiss the lawsuit — which followed the first sexual harassment case by Lizzo's former dancers in August, leading to more former employees to come forward with complaints of their own and the revelation that Lizzo had settled a separate suit with 14 dancers earlier this year — the pop star's attorneys are arguing that it can't be filed in California because Daniels is a legal resident of New York, and had been hired by a Delaware-based company for the European tour.

The objection, filed December 15, calls Daniels a "disgruntled" employee who "refused to comply with instructions … failed to perform the spark that she assigned and, eventually, just played hooky and refused to show up for work." Lizzo's legal head, Martin Singer, alleged that the plaintiff's job had been "terminated after abandoning her post on the day of a concert" in Paris.

"This motion was expected and is yet another Hail Mary by Lizzo's team to try to shift blame to the victims, as she has done to the three other plaintiffs who have sued her for similar allegations of harassment, disability discrimination and retaliatory termination," Ron Zambrano, a lawyer for Daniels, said in a statement. "Lizzo and her lawyers can continue trying to rationalize her illegal and wretched conduct but we remain committed to seeking justice for our clients, and look forward to our day in court where Lizzo can explain her behaviour in a public forum."

In September, Lizzo issued a formal denial of the initial lawsuit filed by three of her former dancers, which accused her of sexual harassment and creating a hostile work environment — and she denied, calling the allegations "outrageous." The pop star's Big Grrrls dance crew, as well as Beyoncé, have maintained their support amid the controversy.

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