Lizzo can still do her hair toss, she can still check her nails and all that, but she might feel slightly less good-as-hell after being sued for libel, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and invasion of privacy by a now-former Postmates delivery driver.
This all started on a Monday night in mid-September when Lizzo, whose real name is Melissa Jefferson, used Postmates to place an order from Luke's Lobster in Boston, Massachusetts. Her meal was supposed to be delivered to the Revere Hotel, but Lizzo had used the pseudonym "Bonnie V" on her order, and she hadn't included a room number.
The driver, Tiffany Wells, said she tried to contact "Bonnie V" on the phone number she'd provided, and she also spoke to the Revere staffers at the front desk, but they told her that no "Bonnie V" was listed as a guest. After waiting another five minutes, she rolled out, taking the Luke's delivery with her.
As stan-able as Lizzo can be, she… she did not handle it well.
"Hey @Postmates this girl Tiffany W. stole my food she lucky I don’t fight no more," she wrote in a now-deleted tweet, one that included a screenshot of Wells' picture from the Postmates app. Lizzo also tweeted that Wells walked into the hotel, "clocked it as delivered, then walked out with food in hand […] She clearly knew what she was doing and I just don’t want someone else to get they shit stole too."
According to Wells' lawsuit, which was first obtained by Pitchfork, some of Lizzo's fans and followers started making threats against her. ("[m]e pulling up to Tiffany’s house and stomping on her ass bc she deprived my baby lizzo of her food,” one example cited in the filing said.)
By the next day, Lizzo had deleted the tweets and said she was sorry. "I apologize for putting that girl on blast. I understand I have a large following and that there were so many variables that could’ve put her in danger," she wrote. "Imma really be more responsible with my use of social media and check my petty and my pride at the door."
But according to Wells, the damage was already done. After six months and "approximately 450 deliveries," she stopped working for Postmates, as well as for UberEats and Caviar. "Plaintiff was scared to leave her house and as a result was forced to stop delivering as a courier altogether—directly affecting her ability to earn a living," the lawsuit says. (For what it's worth, a Postmates spokesperson told TMZ that Wells did exactly what the company's policy required: waiting five minutes for the customer and then moving on to the next delivery.)
Wells' lawsuit, which asks for unspecified damages in excess of $75,000, said that Lizzo "lacked reasonable grounds for any belief in the truth of her statements and acted negligently in failing to determine the true facts" of what had happened to her delivery. It also alleges that she "acted with actual malice and reckless disregard for the truth," when she tweeted about Wells.
The 27-year-old former courier says that she has suffered loss of earnings, pain and suffering, emotional distress and trauma, fear of physical safety, stress and anxiety, public ridicule and humiliation, and damage to her personal and professional reputation. She is asking for a jury trial.
Lizzo has not yet responded to Wells' lawsuit.