According to documents obtained by Rolling Stone on Friday (November 10), lawyers representing Arianna Davis, Crystal Williams and Noelle Rodriguez filed an opposition filing, saying that anti-SLAPP statutes don’t protect Lizzo from facing legal repercussions for their allegations.
They wrote in the 19-page filing: “Can a global celebrity be forever insulated from civil liability because all their conduct is protected as free speech under the anti-SLAPP statute? Defendant Lizzo asks this Court to rule in exactly that fashion. Fortunately for all victims of celebrity malfeasance, the law says otherwise.”
They added: “In an apparent effort to dupe this Court, Defendants either cherry-pick allegations or outright omit allegations inconvenient to their position, instead sanitizing them with euphemisms.”
In a statement to the outlet, Lizzo’s team reminded them that many other of her employees backed her with statements of their own recently.
Lizzo’s representatives responded to the allegations in a statement to Rolling Stone, pointing to character statements provided by her staffers several weeks ago.
“Last month, 18 independent witnesses stood by Lizzo’s work ethic and character,” Stefan Friedman said. “It is clear that since then, these plaintiff lawyers have come up with exactly zero to refute these facts.”
As previously reported, Lizzo’s attorneys filed a motion to dismiss the case in a Los Angeles court on October 27. In the filing, the three women suing were described as having “an axe to grind” who had shown “a pattern of gross misconduct and failure to perform their job up to par.”
“Plaintiffs embarked on a press tour, vilifying defendants and pushing their fabricated sob story in the courts and in the media. That ends today,” it reads. “Instead of taking any accountability for their own actions, plaintiffs filed this lawsuit against defendants out of spite and in pursuit of media attention, public sympathy and a quick payday with minimal effort.”
Sworn statements from 18 members of Lizzo’s touring company disputing the lawsuit’s allegations were also included. It’s unclear if it’s an extension of the previously-filed motion to dismiss in September.
The lawsuit — which names Lizzo, her production company, Big Grrrl Big Touring, and her dance captain, Shirlene Quigley — was filed back in August.
Among the allegations, the plaintiffs have claimed Lizzo once called attention to one dancer’s weight gain and later berated then fired that person after they recorded a meeting “because of a health condition.”
According to the suit, Davis and fellow plaintiff Crystal Williams started working with Lizzo after competing on her 2021 Amazon reality show, Watch Out for the Big Grrrls, and were later fired. The third, Noelle Rodriguez, was hired the same year after performing in the “Rumors” video and resigned earlier this year.