Three black backup dancers filed a lawsuit against Cher on Thursday claiming they were wrongfully fired from her current tour. The trio also alleges the singer engaged in racial discrimination after rejecting another black dancer from joining her onstage.
The dancers claim Cher remarked that her successful “Dressed to Kill” tour had “too much color” and instructed choreographer Kevin Wilson not to hire any more dark skinned dancers. Wilson, who is black and also danced onstage on the tour, was fired in July along with two other dancers who claim they were discriminated against.
Wilson and dancer Suzanne Easter, who are both African-American, are suing Cher along with former colleague Jacquelyn Dowsett Ballinger claiming they were wrongfully fired after complaining to managers that another dancer assaulted an unidentified woman in a hotel room while on tour. Wilson and Easter say race was a motivating factor in their dismissal, while Ballinger, 42, is alleging age discrimination.
“The accusations are ridiculous,” Cher’s publicist Liz Rosenberg said Thursday. “They couldn’t be further from the truth.”
According to the lawsuit, the dancers were told they were fired to save costs on the tour. Their lawsuit seeks more than $10 million in damages, but the final reward would have to be determined by a jury.
A lawyer for the dancers said that such claims have been made by dancers on Cher’s tour for more than a decade.
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