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JoJo Siwa & Mom Accused Of Treating Child Employees Like 'Trash' In Dancer's EXPLOSIVE Tell-All!

JoJo Siwa & Mom Accused Of Treating Child Employees Like 'Trash' In EXPLOSIVE Tell-All From Ex-Dancer!

JoJo Siwa and her momager Jessalynn are coming under fire for allegedly treating their child employees like “trash”!

Back in 2021, the mother-daughter duo hosted the reality TV competition Siwas Dance Pop Revolution, in which they put together what they hoped would be the next big girl group, XOMG Pop! The act would essentially replace the Dance Moms alum in the child entertainment landscape as she transitioned to a more mature artist. But despite JoJo’s cheery personality and the glitz and glam of the Hollywood production, it turns out this new band was a NIGHTMARE for its members! And now one of them is finally breaking her silence!

In a shocking report published by Rolling Stone on Tuesday, now-16-year-old Leigha Sanderson breaks down her horrifying experience working on the reality show — and transitioning into a full-time underage musician. Although she was born with spina bifida, Leigha was always a talented dancer. When she was selected for the show at 14, her parents Anjie and Cody decided to let her film in Los Angeles, considering it a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, especially given her health issues. The mother and daughter left their life behind in Texas, including three older kids, and shut down a day care center Angie owned in the process — only for the hopeful to be subjected to grueling rehearsals, verbally abusive behavior, and hardly any compensation for her work.

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The family and several other sources claim Jessalynn was cruel to the young kids, calling them names and even allegedly shaming one of them for having a disability! (The alleged victim did not return the outlet’s request for comment.)

JoJo was also said to be nasty, screaming insults at the child stars during a performance and helping to create a toxic environment in which the kids were pitted against each other. Furthermore, insiders allege the reality show producers set out to make the kids “cry” on camera every day, though others close to the production denied this.

During a performance at the Mall of America post-filming for the show, JoJo allegedly shouted in their in-ears, per Leigha:

“‘You’re sucking, bring it up, the energy is low, you look sloppy. This isn’t good enough.’ We had thousands of people watching this, and then we have somebody in our ear screaming at us telling us we suck.”

Anjie and Leigha often found themselves at odds with the Siwas, and even the other mothers, especially as Anjie tried to advocate for her child. One argument was over the lack of school time provided to the kids (though the on-set teacher denied this). Things only got worse after the reality show wrapped and they started working as a full-time band, which included OG members Sanderson, Brooklynn Pitts, Kinley Cunningham, Bella Llerena, Dallas Skye, Kiya Barczyszyn, and Tamara “Tinie T” Andreasyan.

Not only were they dealing with the same busy schedule as during the show, but they also largely had to pay out of pocket for food and transportation and were not paid for individual music videos, social media content, or photoshoots, per the Sandersons and another close source. They didn’t even get paid the full amount described in their recording contract! All the records were reviewed by Rolling Stone, which showed the girls were to make $10,000 after recording their first album — but the Sandersons only got $4,250 because Jess said she had to pay for the Airbnb where they would stay.

While Jess rented another house for the group, it was only to shoot content in. After leaving an Airbnb, the mother and daughter spent months sleeping on blow-up mattresses in another member’s dance studio. Wow.

After Kiya was abruptly and unexpectedly fired in the fall of 2022, Anjie was afraid to say anything. She says:

“You have to understand the atmosphere. You’re not allowed to say anything. You can’t question anything. You’re living in fear that you’re going to cost your child their opportunity, that they’ll get fired, or that we’re gonna have to get a lawyer. And none of us had the money.”

Anjie and Bella’s mother were so broke, they started working for Jessalynn again, only this time as servants. They allegedly got jobs like organizing JoJo’s closet and cleaning toilets for $20 an hour. Goodness! You’d think the Siwas would’ve realized they probably weren’t paying their talent enough if they had to employ their mothers! WTF?!

Emphasizing the horrific conditions, the Sandersons recalled a time when Leigha had to have spinal cord surgery related to her lifelong condition. Days before the operation, the teen started to bleed through her belly button during a rehearsal for a performance at the Children’s and Family Emmys — and instead of worrying about Leigha or encouraging her to take a break, Jessalynn allegedly told her to put a maxi pad on it so it wouldn’t bleed through her costume. Jeez!

Then, after the surgery, Jessalynn reportedly tried getting Leigha back to work way before she should have been coming out of recovery. Everything came to a boiling point on May 3, 2023 when the girls were filming a YouTube video at the content house. Anjie got upset about the schedule and school hours, getting into an argument with the other mothers and teacher. Later, Jessalynn texted her:

“Angie I’m really tired of it […] I work really hard[,] I’ve gone over and above and beyond for you and for your kid. There’s food at the house. [They’re] not overworked….If you’re gonna work for me you cannot act like an a**hole[,] end of the story.”

Anjie begged for her daughter’s job, even suggesting she assign an on-set guardian for Leigha (such as an older sibling or one of the other mothers) so she could stay in the group without Anjie having to be involved. But on May 6th, Leigha was fired by text. Leigha recalled:

“I had given everything that I had. I had no more friends at home, I had left school. I left it all to go be in this group, just for her to take it away from me like that. It was literally the end of the world.”

They have not heard from the Siwas since that text either, the teenager noted:

“It’s like, they use you. And then they throw you in the trash.”

Despite this, the family noticed Leigha’s image was still being used in merch, so they sent a letter to the Siwas in December accusing them of using the image without her authorization. They claim they haven’t seen any revenue from merch or been compensated for brand deals, photo or music video shoots, or rehearsals. Whoa.

FWIW, several of the mothers denied these claims and insisted their daughter’s have been well taken care of in anonymous letters shared with the outlet. The Siwas’ lawyer Bryan Freedman also vehemently hit back at the allegations, arguing:

“These allegations are 100 percent provably false and this story is created to generate clicks at the expense of the truth. Had actual investigative reporting been done, the voluminous and irrefutable evidence would tell you all you need to know — that a disgruntled momager’s own abusive behavior caused for her daughter to be asked not to return to the group. Her relentless texts begging for forgiveness and for her daughter to be reinstated completely discredit her and these ridiculous allegations. Jess Siwa was protecting the staff, the other girls and their families which she will continue to do vociferously and unapologetically.”

While the group is still intact, Brooklynn, Tinie T, and Dallas are the only original members still involved. Penelope LeMieux was brought on last year.

Such a messy situation, and just proof that there needs to be way more legislation to protect child stars, especially in the new social media landscape. And for all these allegations to be made about JoJo, someone who understands the stresses of being on a reality series as a kid and who has become known for  her super positive persona online? It’s so sad, if true! You can read the full report HERE.

[Image via Peacock/YouTube]

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Feb 13, 2024 17:35pm PDT