Three of Lizzo’s former backup dancers are suing the 35-year-old over shocking allegations, including sexual harassment and hostile work environments. Arianna Davis, Crystal Williams and Noelle Rodriguez have accused Lizzo, whose real name is Melissa Viviane Jefferson, of encouraging them to interact with nude performers in Amsterdam’s red-light district.

Lizzo’s dance captain, Shirlene Quigley, is also facing several allegations and named a defendant in the lawsuit.

Here’s what you need to know about Davis, Williams and Rodriguez.


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Davis, 24, grew up in Indiana, where she began to dance at the age of 2 years old and later graduated from Warren Central High School.

Davis continued her education at Full Sail University, pursuing a degree in Music Production.

During the pandemic, Davis discovered a casting call for Lizzo and decided to share a video of herself dancing on TikTok. Already having a following from her previously posted dance videos, her audition video garnered viral success — which led Lizzo to stitch a duet of herself dancing.

Davis’ big break was on the hit reality show Watch Out For The Big Grrrls and was chosen to be a backup dancer for the “Tempo” artist. In 2022, Davis won an Emmy for appearing on the show.

“Dance to me is something that you have to do when you don’t have words to express yourself. When you can’t sing it, you can’t say it, you can’t act it out. You can’t do anything except physically move to express yourself. When I have no words, I just dance,” she told Daily Mail.

In April 2022, Davis admitted to dreams of being a singer and called Lizzo her role model at the time.

“She’s the same person in real life that she is on social media and in the media. She is just such a genuine, kindhearted person, and I love working with her,” Davis said, the Daily Mail reported.

Williams, 26, is a born and raised Texas native now living in Los Angeles. The dancer graduated from Sam Houston State University, where she pursued a degree in Mass Communications.

Williams balanced both being a dance member for a campus team called Fade to Black and her college studies. Following graduation, Williams applied to a casting call for the reality show Watch Out For The Big Grrrrls.

After being selected to compete, she appeared on the reality show and ended up not finishing the competition upon being hired to become one of Lizzo’s dancers “effective immediately.”

Williams later earned an Emmy in 2022.

“I thought maybe this is a sign. I did my video submission and everything. I put together a little montage video,” she said, the Daily Mail reported. “My mass comm degree really popped out with that one because it was a nice audition video. I had two different slides going on while I was talking about myself.”

Rodriguez is also from Texas and has been a successful dancer for several years. Before working with the “About Damn Time” artist, the 25-year-old starred as a background dancer in season one of HBOMax’s Euphoria.

Rodriguez has starred in various brand campaigns, including Kim Kardashian’s SKIMS and GAP. Rodriguez performed with Beyoncé in 2018 for her Beychella set at Coachella, Sam Smith and Janet Jackson for her 2018 Billboard Music Awards Icon performance.


After starring in Lizzo’s “Rumors” music video, Rodriguez was hired as a tour dancer. Unlike her peers, she did not dance on Watch Out For The Big Grrrls. In May, Rodriguez shared a cryptic message on her Instagram story that first featured a quote written by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Underneath the quote, she wrote a message about having the courage to use your voice.

“If they want to make an example out of me, I will gladly be one. Hopefully, we can be an example of dedication, courage and persistence under fire. I also hope to be an example of not tolerating nonsense, two,” she wrote.

“It brings me peace to be at a point in my career I can say no disrespect. I stand strong and walking away from spaces that don’t serve me and, more importantly, don’t deserve me,” she continued. “My talent, my character, and reputation speak volumes on its own. Know your worth, and never be afraid to use your voice. Stand up for what is right, regardless of who is committing the wrong. Excited for what’s to come, and to be quite honest, it was….#aboutdamntime,” she wrote in her own words under the shared quote.

Lizzo has responded to the three former dancers’ complaints on Thursday, denying weight-shaming, sexual harassment, and creating a toxic work environment.

As Blavity reported, she issued a statement on social media after numerous people who worked with her, including the plaintiffs in the complaint, shared their experiences as former employees and collaborators.