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Dancers suing Lizzo committed to additional tour dates even after alleged harassment, documents say

Arianna Davis, Noelle Rodriguez and Crystal Williams re-signed for additional dates of Lizzo’s tour in early April, according to a signed agreement and an email.

LOS ANGELES — Three dancers who sued Lizzo committed to additional tour dates after the alleged harassment occurred, according to documents NBC News obtained Tuesday.

Arianna Davis, Noelle Rodriguez and Crystal Williams re-signed for a third leg of Lizzo's tour in early April, according to a signed agreement and an email.

A contract signed April 11 showed Davis and Williams agreed to remain on retainer for Lizzo's international shows through July 31. An email dated April 4 says a representative for Rodriguez accepted an agreement for the same dates.

Marty Singer, an attorney for Lizzo, said in a statement Tuesday that the plaintiffs' complaints included a “range of factual inaccuracies.” 

“Clearly, even at this early stage of the process, their case has been irreparably damaged,” Singer said. 

The dancers' attorneys, Ron Zambrano and Neama Rahmani, said Tuesday that they were confident in the suit and that the contract agreements do not change the facts of the lawsuit.

"The plaintiffs merely wanted to keep their jobs until they finally had enough of the abuse," Rahmani said. "Arianna, Noelle and Crystal were brave enough to come out with their stories, and they don’t plan to back down in the face of these bullying tactics by Lizzo’s attorney."

The lawyers also said they have spoken to more potential plaintiffs.

"Some of them will most certainly be actionable," Zambrano said. "Crystal, Noelle and Arianna stepped out of the shadows to share their stories, and now others are feeling empowered to do the same.”

The dancers accused Lizzo of sexual harassment and a hostile work environment in a lawsuit filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court this month.

Lizzo, whose real name is Melissa Viviane Jefferson, held an after-party at an Amsterdam strip club, Bananenbar, on Feb. 23, the suit says.

Lizzo allegedly “began inviting cast members to take turns touching the nude performers, catching dildos launched from the performers’ vaginas, and eating bananas protruding from the performers’ vaginas,” the suit says. “Lizzo then turned her attention to Ms. Davis and began pressuring Ms. Davis to touch the breasts of one of the nude women.”

A week later, after a show in Paris, the suit says, Lizzo invited her dancers to a club for performance inspiration but did not mention it was a "nude cabaret bar."

The suit describes the performance as “artful,” but the plaintiffs said they were “shocked that Lizzo would conceal the nature of the event from them, robbing them of the choice not to participate.”

A lawyer for Lizzo on Wednesday shared photos of the singer and the dancers from that night at the Paris club.

"These images showing the three plaintiffs gleefully reveling backstage after the topless show were taken after their February 2023 visit to Bananenbar in Amsterdam that they complain about in their lawsuit," Singer said in a statement.

"As the old saying goes, a picture speaks a thousand words," he said.

A lawyer for the dancers said the photos where the plaintiffs appear to be happy don't paint a full picture.

"Of course, they wanted to keep their jobs," Rahmani said in a statement Wednesday. "They had bills to pay just like everyone else but they finally had enough of the abuse." 

Two dancers were fired in April and May. According to the suit, Williams lost her job April 26, days after she spoke up at a meeting in which she challenged an assertion from Lizzo that the dancers were drinking before performances.

Davis was fired after she recorded an April 27 meeting because she suffered from an eye condition that sometimes left her disoriented in stressful situations, the suit says.

Rodriguez told Lizzo she would resign days later after a meeting at which Lizzo confiscated a phone, the suit says.

Lizzo called the allegations “unbelievable” and “outrageous" in a statement on Instagram this month.

“These last few days have been gut wrenchingly difficult and overwhelmingly disappointing,” she said at the time. “My work ethic, morals and respectfulness have been questioned. My character has been criticized."

The dancers' lawsuit stated that Williams and Davis were pressured to participate in a nude photoshoot. The plaintiff's attorney said this week that  Williams was not present for the shoot and "that was merely a typo in one section of the complaint that was clarified further in the complaint.”