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Tags: paula abdul | nigel lythgoe | sexual assault | lawsuit | california

Paula Abdul Sues Producer Nigel Lythgoe, Claims Sexual Assault

By    |   Saturday, 30 December 2023 12:09 PM EST

Singer-choreographer Paula Abdul is suing British competition show producer Nigel Lythgoe on claims that he allegedly sexually assaulted her while filming "American Idol" and "So You Think You Can Dance."

She said in her lawsuit, which was filed in Los Angeles Friday, that Lythgoe, the producer of both shows, allegedly sexually assaulted her first in a hotel elevator while they were traveling during one of the "initial seasons" of "American Idol," reports the New York Post's Page Six, which obtained a copy of the lawsuit.

Abdul said in the first incidence, Lythgoe pushed her against the walls of the elevator while he allegedly made sexual contact with her. When the doors for the elevator opened for her floor, she ran out and to her hotel room, where she "quickly called one of one of her representatives in tears to inform them of the assault."

Abdul, now 61, said that in another incident, while she was a judge on "So You Think You Can Dance," Lythgoe, now 74, invited her to his home for dinner and she accepted, thinking it was a "professional invitation."

"Toward the end of the evening, Lythgoe forced himself on top of Abdul while she was seated on his couch and attempted to kiss her while proclaiming that the two would make an excellent 'power couple,'" the court documents state. "Abdul pushed Lythgoe off of her, explaining that she was not interested in his advances and immediately left."

The documents also state that she allegedly saw him sexually assault one of her assistants in 2015.

Abdul also claims that Lythgoe "verbally insulted and belittled" during a meeting before she became an "American Idol" judge in April 2002, and that she was discriminated against while working on the show.

She claimed in the suit that she didn't speak up after any of the alleged incidents sooner over fear of retaliation from Lythgoe and the "fear of speaking out against one of the most well-known producers of television competition shows who could easily break her career as a television personality and of being ostracized and blackballed by an industry that had a pattern of protecting powerful men and silencing survivors of sexual assault and harassment."

Lythgoe, the lawsuit adds, "clearly knew that his assaults of Abdul were not just wrong but that he held the power to keep her silent" and that he knew the treatment was "inappropriate and even criminal.”

"At one point Lythgoe called Abdul and taunted her that they should celebrate because it had been 'seven years and the statute of limitations had run,'" the documents state.

Representatives for Abdul and Lythgoe did not respond to Page Six's requests for comment.

Abdul also lists the production companies for the two competition shows, American Idol Productions, Dance Nation Productions, 19 Entertainment, and FremantleMedia North America as defendants in the lawsuit, claiming "sexual assault/battery, sexual harassment, gender violence, and negligence" as the causes of action.

Her lawsuit was filed through California's Sexual Abuse and Cover-Up Accountability Act. The law gives plaintiffs a one-year window to file claims otherwise falling outside the statute of limitations.

Sandy Fitzgerald

Sandy Fitzgerald has more than three decades in journalism and serves as a general assignment writer for Newsmax covering news, media, and politics. 

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


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Singer-choreographer Paula Abdul is suing British competition show producer Nigel Lythgoe on claims that he allegedly sexually assaulted her while filming "American Idol" and "So You Think You Can Dance."
paula abdul, nigel lythgoe, sexual assault, lawsuit, california
516
2023-09-30
Saturday, 30 December 2023 12:09 PM
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