On Wednesday (September 27), attorneys for the Grammy-winning artist filed a motion requesting that the case against her be dismissed. Lizzo was accused by three of her former backup dancers of creating a hostile work environment, and of sexual harassment.
Lizzo’s new filing is a request to the judge that the case against her be dismissed in its entirety, and that the dancers should be held responsible for legal fees and court costs.
To bolster the argument that this should happen, the motion lists thirty-one “affirmative defenses” — a list of reasons that the dancers’ demand for damages shouldn’t be accepted.
The list of defenses is wide-ranging. Some state that the dancers gave “consent” to Lizzo’s alleged misbehavior. “Plaintiffs have ratified, acquiesced, condoned and/or approved of the acts or omissions of Defendants, in whole or in part, about which Plaintiffs now complain,” one reads. Another says the dancers “knew full well of the risk involved.”
Other defenses say that what Lizzo did had “good cause” or was done for “legitimate reasons.” Still more say that the dancers needed to go to mediation or the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board instead of suing.
Another claims that conditions the dancers complained about “were caused by acts and conduct of other persons or entities [than Lizzo].”
One affirmative defense even says that the defendants can’t sue because Lizzo’s actions “arise from Defendants’ exercise of their rights of freedom of speech and/or religion.”
“Lizzo’s answer merely consists of boilerplate objections that have nothing to do with the case,” the plaintiffs’ attorney Neama Rahmani said in a statement provided to HipHopDX.
The document ends with Lizzo’s team requesting a jury trial if none of the affirmative defenses succeed in getting the case thrown out.
A spokesperson for Lizzo told USA TODAY in a statement: “This is the first step of a legal process in which Lizzo and her team will demonstrate that they have always practiced what they’ve preached – whether it comes to promoting body positivity, leading a safe and supportive workplace or protecting individuals from any kind of harassment. Any and all claims to the contrary are ridiculous, and we look forward to proving so in a court of law.”