Lizzo says she is 'not the villain' amid lawsuit claiming sexual and racial harassment

'Truth Hurts' singer Lizzo has responded to allegations made by three of her former dancers who claimed they were subjected to a hostile work environment, saying the experience has been "gut wrenchingly difficult and overwhelmingly disappointing".

The complaint was filed in the Los Angeles Superior Court this week and named her production company Big Grrrl Big Touring, Inc and a "dance cast captain" in the lawsuit.

The singer is accused of religious, racial and sexual harassment, assault and false imprisonment, and disability discrimination. Lizzo's former dancers Arianna Davis, Crystal Williams and Noelle Rodriguez are bringing the case against the singer.

Responding to the accusations on Instagram, Lizzo said the claims were so "outrageous" that they needed to be addressed, adding that she was "not the villain".

"These last few days have been gut wrenchingly difficult and overwhelmingly disappointing. My work ethic, morals and respectfulness have been questioned. My character has been criticised. 

"Usually I choose not to respond to false allegations but these are as unbelievable as they sound and too outrageous to not be addressed. These sensationalised stories are coming from former employees who have already publicly admitted that they were told their behaviour on tour was inappropriate and unprofessional."

Among the claims outlined in the suit, one of the three plaintiffs said she was encouraged by the singer to "take turns touching the nude performers" while out at a club in Amsterdam's Red Light District while on tour in February.

Lizzo also said it was "never my intention to make anyone feel uncomfortable".

"As an artist, I have always been very passionate about what I do. I take my music and my performances seriously because at the end of the day I only want to put out the best art that represents me and my fans. With passion comes hard work and high standards. Sometimes I have to make hard decisions but it's never my intention to make anyone feel uncomfortable or like they aren't valued as an important part of the team.

"I am not here to be looked at as a victim, but I also know that I am not the villain that people and the media have portrayed me to be these last few days. I am very open with my sexuality and expressing myself but I cannot accept or allow people to use that openness to make me out to be something I am not. 

"There is nothing I take more seriously than the respect we deserve as women in the world. I know what it feels like to be body shamed on a daily basis and would absolutely never criticise or terminate an employee because of their weight.

"I'm hurt but I will not let the good work I've done in the world be overshadowed by this. I want to thank everyone who has reached out in support to lift me up during this difficult time."