Paula Abdul has accused former ‘American Idol’ producer Nigel Lythgoe of sexually assaulting her in the early 2000s and also after she became a judge on ‘So You Think You Can Dance’ in a new lawsuit. Her lawyer praised her for speaking out publicly.
Allegations Against Nigel Lythgoe
Paula Abdul has filed a lawsuit accusing Nigel Lythgoe, the former ‘American Idol’ producer, of sexually assaulting her in the early 2000s when she was a judge on the show. The lawsuit also alleges that Lythgoe assaulted Abdul after she became a judge on his other competition show, ‘So You Think You Can Dance.’
Response from Paula Abdul’s Lawyer
In a statement, Paula Abdul’s lawyer Douglas Johnson commended her for speaking out publicly. He emphasized that Abdul’s decision to come forward was difficult but important. Johnson also highlighted that Abdul stands in solidarity with other survivors and is determined to seek justice.
Nigel Lythgoe’s Response
Nigel Lythgoe expressed shock and sadness at the allegations made by Abdul in a statement. He described Abdul as a ‘dear’ and ‘entirely platonic’ friend, and questioned the motive behind the lawsuit, vowing to fight the allegations with everything he has.
Alleged Assault Incidents
The lawsuit details the alleged assaults, stating that the first incident occurred while Abdul and Lythgoe were on the road filming auditions for an earlier season of ‘American Idol.’ It describes how Lythgoe groped Abdul in an elevator and attempted to kiss her, leading Abdul to push him away and flee to her hotel room.
Further Allegations and Lawsuit Timeline
Abdul continued to work with Lythgoe, joining him as a judge on ‘So You Think You Can Dance’ in 2015. The lawsuit claims that Lythgoe assaulted Abdul again during a dinner at his home. It also mentions Lythgoe’s alleged taunts about the assaults. Abdul filed the suit before the Dec. 31 deadline of a California law that allowed victims to file lawsuits for sexual abuse claims after the statute of limitations has expired.