Tiffany Wells says she was forced to quit her job as a food courier after the pop star slammed her on Twitter.
Lizzo is in legal hot water after slamming a Postmates driver on Twitter.
According to documents filed Friday (Nov. 15) in U.S. District Court of Central California, Tiffany Wells is suing the pop star (aka Melissa Jefferson) for libel, intentional infliction of emotional distress and false light invasion of privacy. Wells claims she was forced to quit her job as a courier for Postmates and other food delivery services after Lizzo publicly accused her of stealing a Postmates order, tweeting her name and photo.
“As a direct result of Lizzo’s actions, Plaintiff has suffered and continues to suffer substantial damage and loss, including, but not limited to, the loss [of] future earnings, pain and suffering, emotional distress and trauma, fear of physical safety, insult, anguish, stress and anxiety, public ridicule, humiliation, indignity, damage and injury to her personal and professional reputation, and other incidental and consequential damages and expenses,” the complaint reads.
A representative for Lizzo did not respond to Billboard‘s request for comment by press time.
As laid out in the suit, Wells delivered a Postmates order from a Massachusetts lobster restaurant to the Revere Hotel in Boston on the evening of Sept. 16, 2019, but left after 10 minutes — more than the required amount of time per Postmates’ official policy — when she was unable to contact the customer. The following day, she discovered through family and friends that the customer in question was Lizzo and that the singer had tweeted out Wells’ name and Postmates photo to her 1 million followers with the caption, “Hey @Postmates this girl Tiffany W. stole my food she lucky I don’t fight no more.”
According to Wells, Lizzo’s tweet garnered a large number of retweets and comments, with some of the singer’s fans threatening physical violence against Wells. She points out that Lizzo later replied to a comment in her original tweet, stating, “the front desk told me she walked in, clocked it as delivered, then walked out with food in hand. Her phone never rang, Postmates couldn’t contact her either. She clearly knew what she was doing and I just don’t want someone else to get they shit stole too….”
Wells claims that in the aftermath of the tweet, she “became fearful” that someone might recognize or harm her if she continued delivering food with Postmates and other services and as a result was “forced” to stop working as a courier, thereby directly affecting her ability to earn a living.
Though Lizzo later deleted the Twitter post and tweeted out an apology to Wells, Wells claims “the damage had already been done,” noting that several mainstream news organizations including People, Rolling Stone and TMZ had circulated the original tweet, with the TMZ story alone garnering more than 770 comments and 5,600 Facebook shares.
Wells further notes that because Lizzo failed to contact Postmates about the incident “prior to or without first” sending out the original tweet, she “lacked reasonable grounds for any belief in the truth of her statements” and was negligent in her failure to determine the facts of the incident before publicly lashing out. She further notes that Lizzo received multiple calls from Wells as well as a push notification from Postmates alerting her that Wells had reached the hotel, indicating that the singer knew her tweets were false prior to sending them.
The complaint additionally points out that in a TMZ report following the incident, Postmates confirmed to the outlet that Wells did nothing wrong and had waited “at least the required 5 minutes” before leaving the location.
The complaint continues, “Lizzo’s conduct was extreme and outrageous in that she used her celebrity to publicly defame, disparage and threaten a private individual (i.e.Plaintiff), to roughly one million Twitter followers…[and] substantially and seriously interfered with Plaintiff’s right to privacy.”
Wells is seeking damages in an undetermined amount.
Friday’s suit isn’t the only legal battle Lizzo is facing. Last month, the singer filed a lawsuit against Justin and Jeremiah Raisen after the songwriter-producers publicly claimed credit as co-songwriters on the Billboard No. 1 hit “Truth Hurts” for their involvement in an earlier version of the song called “Healthy.” In a Twitter post, Lizzo said the men “did not help me write any part of the song.” It was later confirmed that she would be crediting singer Mina Lioness on the track for originating the tweet that inspired the popular lyric, “I just took a DNA test, turns out I’m 100% that bitch” — the same part of the song the Raisens claim they had a hand in crafting.