A SoulCycle instructor from Manhattan Beach, California, filed on Tuesday a lawsuit against the cycling studio company, its parent Equinox Holdings Inc. and a former colleague, alleging she was mischaracterized and fired over false claims of racism and Donald Trump support.
Lindsay Buckley is suing fellow instructor Angela Davis in Los Angeles Superior Court for launching an alleged “campaign of harassment and discriminatory and retaliatory actions" against her, according to a media release provided to Club Industry by a spokesman with Buckley's legal counsel, Feldman Browne Olivares.
Buckley, who is white, is accusing Davis, who is black, of reverse discrimination.
The alleged issues started shortly after the November 2016 presidential election, according to the release. Buckley gave what she characterized in the lawsuit as an inspirational talk to her disappointed class members in the wake of Donald Trump's victory. Buckley claims her comments were about turning a negative into a positive, while Davis—who later learned about the comments—allegedly took the comments to mean that Buckley had exhibited racist and pro-Trump sentiments.
Davis was allegedly determined to "force the termination of Buckley and to ruin her reputation," according to the release.
A spokesman with Buckley's legal counsel told Club Industry that Buckley has, in fact, never been a Donald Trump supporter.
“During the past few months, I was betrayed by a company and a fellow instructor that I’d come to admire and respect so much — in a manner that was completely opposite of the values they claim are most important to them,” Buckley said in a statement. “I felt it was important to bring this lawsuit to make the statement that reverse discrimination is still discrimination, and that false accusations of racism can destroy a person’s reputation forever.”
Buckley has been a trainer at SoulCycle's Brentwood and Santa Monica locations since 2013. Some of her clients include actress Lea Michele and NBA athlete Metta World Peace, according to the release.
SoulCycle has not yet responded to a request for comment on the lawsuit.