LOS ANGELES (CN) – Three dancers sued Cher on Thursday, claiming she was “personally involved in the cover-up of a sexual assault against a female fan by one of her other male dancers while on Cher’s Dressed to Kill Tour,” and that Cher didn’t want black dancers with her onstage.
Jacquelyn Dowsett et al. sued Cher Sarkisian, Isis Productions, Lindsay Scott and Roger Davies, in Superior Court, alleging wrongful firing, retaliation, racial and age discrimination and unfair competition.
“The cover-up surfaced when plaintiffs, who were employed by Cher as dancers/choreographers, with over a decade of experience on previous Cher tours, were abruptly fired after reporting this criminal incident to tour management, despite previously signing employment contract extensions to remain on the second leg of the tour, which runs through the end of the 2014 year,” the complaint states. “The purported reason given or the firing was ‘budget cuts.’
The lawsuit also alleges that Cher made a racist comment when she stated, while reviewing tapes of auditions for dancers, that “the tour had too much color” and prohibited her choreographer from casting any dark skinned blacks.
“This was because [defendant Kevin] Cher’s choreographer and Easter, a dancer, are dark-skinned African Americans,” the complaint states.
“One month after the report of the assault, all three whistleblowers were fired, whilst the dancer whom they accused of sexual assault remained gainfully employed. After plaintiffs retained counsel and notified tour management of their employment discrimination claims the dancer was put on ‘probation.’
“Plaintiffs allege that their termination was unrelated to any purported budget cuts and that the reasoning provided was pretextual. The media recently reported that Cher’s D2K Tour is on track to become one of the most successful treks of 2014. Billboard reports that the diva’s tour grossed a reported $54.9 million through the end of its first leg on July 11 and sold out all 49 shows. Due to the tour’s huge success, the tour was extended for a second leg of shows through the end of the year and should make Cher the highest grossing tour of 2014.
“In addition, for the second leg of the tour, Cher brought in Bob Mackie to remake all of her costumes, incurring at least $100,000 per outfit in additional expense for each costume. Cher goes through over a dozen costume changes during her show. All of these actions are incongruous with defendants’ use of ‘budget cuts’ as the reasoning behind plaintiffs’ terminated employments.”
The dancers seek damages for whistleblower violations, racial discrimination and retaliation, age discrimination and unfair competition.
They are represented by Perry Wander, of Beverly Hills.
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