Lizzo (Photo by Robin L Marshall/WireImage)

Lizzo‘s request to dismiss her upcoming sexual harrassment and discrimination lawsuit has been denied by a judge.

Last August, the musician was accused of creating a hostile work environment and sexual harassment at a strip club in Amsterdam. In response, Lizzo wrote that she was “hurt” and called the allegations “false”. Lawyers have since reviewed more complaints from other backup dancers, whilst Lizzo was named in a new lawsuit from a former hairstylist in September, which she further moved to dismiss.

Now, an LA judge has ruled that the case will go ahead in its entirety towards a trial. Originally, Lizzo’s lawyers filed to dismiss the lawsuit “in its entirety” in September under California’s anti-SLAPP statute (“strategic lawsuits against public participation”). The statue aims to quickly dismiss lawsuits that threaten free speech. Lizzo’s lawyers argued that her backup dancers were trying to “silence” her.

In response, the judge ruled on Friday (February 2) that the lawsuit did not fit into anti-SLAPP legislation. Whilst he did dismiss certain claims made by the backup dancers – including one that alleged Lizzo had fat-shamed a dancer despite years of body positivity advocacy – he ruled that the rest of the case could go forward.

Lizzo performs at Spark Arena on July 26, 2023 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Dave Simpson/WireImage)
Lizzo performs at Spark Arena on July 26, 2023 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Dave Simpson/WireImage)

“It is dangerous for the court to weigh in, ham-fisted, into constitutionally protected activity,” the judge wrote. “But it is equally dangerous to turn a blind eye to allegations of discrimination or other forms of misconduct merely because they take place in a speech-related environment.”

In a statement the dancers’ lawyer Ron Zambrano wrote: “We’re very pleased with the judge’s ruling, and we absolutely consider it a victory on balance.

“[The judge] did dismiss a few allegations, including the meeting where Arianna was fat shamed, the nude photo shoot, and dancers being forced to be on ‘hold’ while not on tour.

“However, all the other claims remain, including sexual, religious and racial discrimination, sexual harassment, the demeaning visits to the Bananenbar in Amsterdam and Crazy Horse in Paris, false imprisonment, and assault. The ruling also rightfully signals that Lizzo – or any celebrity – is not insulated from this sort of reprehensible conduct merely because she is famous. We now look forward to conducting discovery and preparing the case for trial.”

In a social media post last November, Lizzo revealed she was working on “music, myself,” and “my trust issues with the world.”

The post Lizzo’s request to dismiss her sexual harrassment lawsuit denied by judge appeared first on NME.


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