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American Idol fans were shocked when Paula Abdul filed a lawsuit against supposed friend and producer Nigel Lythgoe at the end of 2023.
For understandable and very troubling reasons.
The legal papers filed on December 29 alleged that former the American Idol and So You Think You Can Dance producer of allegedly sexually assaulting the veteran singer on multiple occasions, with the initial incident allegedly taking place amid “one of Idol’s early seasons.”
Since Abdul made the accusations, two more woman have come forward to file similar complaints against Lythegoe. Who are these women? What does Abdul say actually happened? And how has Lythgoe responded? Here’s what we know.
The legendary choreographer filed her lawsuit against Lythgoe on Friday, December 29 2023, alleging that she was sexually assaulted by Nigel on two different occasions — once during the Idol years and the other in 2014 when both she and Lythgoe were judges on So You Think You Can Dance.
The documents also state that Lythgoe “verbally insulated and belittled” Abdul during their many years working together.
As for the details surrounding this allegation?
Abdul claims she and Lythgoe got into an elevator at their hotel prior to the first supposed assault… and after the doors closed, the latter shoved her against the wall, grabbed her genitals and breasts and tried to tongue-kiss her.
Abdul says she pushed Lythgoe away and ran to her room.
She adds that she immediately called one of her reps to tell him what had transpired, but decided to keep it quiet at the time out of fear of retailiation.
Regarding the second alleged assault… Abdul claims she went over to Lythgoe’s house after signing on to judge So You Think You Can Dance because she figured the executive wanted to talk about her role on the show.
At some point, she says Lythgoe forced himself on top of her and tried to convince her they’d made a great “power couple.”
Abdul is suing Lythgoe, 19 Entertainment and FremantleMedia North America for sexual assault and battery, sexual harassment, gender violence and negligence. At this time, she has not made a formal, public statement on the matter.
Less than a week after Abdul filed her lawsuit, two more women came forward to accuse Lythgoe of sexual assault and battery.
Their suit was filed anonymously, with the women insisting on being identified as Jane Does. What they did reveals was that they were both contestants on the all-female reality competition show All American Girl, which was produced by Lythgoe and aired for one season in 2003.
The women are suing Lythgoe , as well as his unnamed production company, for sexual assault and battery, sexual harassment, gender violence, intentional infliction of emotional distress and negligence, according to TMZ’s reporting.
The women allege that Lythgoe “walked around the set and dressing rooms and openly swatted and groped [their] and other contestants’ buttocks” .
They also claim in the filing that “employees, contractors, representatives and agents saw this happen but did not act in any manner to condemn the action or prevent it from happening again. It was openly accepted.”
“To say that I am shocked and saddened by the allegations made against me by Paula Abdul is a wild understatement,” Nigel Lythgoe’s statement read to Page Six.
On the Saturday after Abdul’s lawsuit came to light, Lythgoe responded vehemently denying the allegations.
“For more than two decades, Paula and I have interacted as dear — and entirely platonic — friends and colleagues,” he continued. “Yesterday, however, out of the blue, I learned of these claims in the press and I want to be clear: not only are they false, they are deeply offensive to me and to everything I stand for.”
Lythgoe then pointed the finger back at Abdul, making a wild claim of his own concerning her “behavior”.
“While Paula’s history of erratic behavior is well known, I can’t pretend to understand exactly why she would file a lawsuit that she must know is untrue,” he added. “But I can promise that I will fight this appalling smear with everything I have.”
Lythgoe produced American Idol during the peak of the show’s popularity in the 2000s and was last listed as a producer for the talent-based singing program in 2014.
From 2005 to 2014, he was listed as the producer and co-creator of So You Think You Can Dance.
Aside from her impressive singing career, Abdul was one of the original judges on American Idol from 2002 to 2009.
She has since appeared as a panelist on The X Factor, Live to Dance, So You Think You Can Dance and The Masked Dancer.
Paula Abdul Sues Nigel Lythgoe: Her Sexual Assault Lawsuit & The Two Other Women … was originally published on The Hollywood Gossip.
Written by: 98bpm Radio
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