Lawsuit: Cher fired dancers for reporting alleged sex assault on tour

Cher, who is on the second leg of her "Dressed to Kill," faces a whistleblower lawsuit by three dancers who contend they were fired for reporting a sexual assault by another dancer.

Story highlights

  • Cher's publicist calls charges "ridiculous and could not be further from the truth"
  • The dancers were fired from Cher's "Dressed to Kill" tour in June, the suit says
  • Cher told then they were let go for "budget reasons," it says.
  • Complaint also accuses Cher of barring the hiring of more black dancers
Three dancers fired from Cher's tour accuse the singer of covering up an alleged sexual assault by another dancer.
The allegations are part of a lawsuit filed against Cher and her touring company in Los Angeles Wednesday.
"These accusations are ridiculous and could not be further from the truth," Cher publicist Liz Rosenberg told CNN Thursday.
While the complaint alleges racial discrimination by Cher, accusing her of hiring a white, blonde dancer over a more qualified African American, the lawsuit centers on California's whistleblower law that protects employees who are fired for reporting illegal activity.
"Cher was personally involved in the coverup of a sexual assault against a female fan by one of her other male dancers while on Cher's Dressed to Kill tour," the suit said.
The alleged sex assault happened in a St. Louis hotel on June 3, after a show on the tour, the lawsuit said.
A recently-hired dancer invited a female fan to his hotel room, it said. The fan, identified as "Jenn," later complained to another dancer, Jacquelyn Ballinger, that the male dancer pressured Jenn to have sex with him.
"When she refused, the dancer became angry," the complaint said. "Jenn asked for Ms. Ballinger not to leave Jenn alone and for help, to which Ms. Ballinger obliged."
Ballinger later told tour choreographer-dancer Kevin Wilson and dancer Suzanne Easter about the allegation. The three dancers "made numerous and repeated complaints" to Cher and tour managers "regarding the sexual assault of a female fan by an employee," it said.
The dancers "were instructed not to tell anyone what had transpired" and "informed that management would 'take care of the situat