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“American Idol” Producer Nigel Lythgoe Faces Second Sexual Assault Lawsuit by “All American Girl” Contestants

"American Idol" Producer Nigel Lythgoe Faces Second Sexual Assault Lawsuit by "All American Girl" Contestants
"American Idol" Producer Nigel Lythgoe Faces Second Sexual Assault Lawsuit by "All American Girl" Contestants

Reality TV Mogul Also Sued by Paula Abdul; Allegations of Assault, Harassment During 2003 Talent Competition Emerge

Renowned reality TV producer Nigel Lythgoe, known for his work on “American Idol” and “So You Think You Can Dance,” is now confronting a second sexual assault lawsuit. This follows a similar suit filed by former “American Idol” judge Paula Abdul last Friday. The recent legal action involves two former contestants from the 2003 talent competition “All American Girl,” who accuse Lythgoe of sexual assault, battery, and harassment.

"American Idol" Producer Nigel Lythgoe Faces Second Sexual Assault Lawsuit by "All American Girl" Contestants

“American Idol” Producer Nigel Lythgoe Faces Second Sexual Assault Lawsuit by “All American Girl” Contestants

The lawsuit alleges that during the filming of “All American Girl” between January and May of 2003, Lythgoe would frequently visit the contestants’ dressing rooms, where he allegedly engaged in inappropriate behavior by openly swatting and groping their buttocks. Additionally, the plaintiffs claim that after the show’s finales, Lythgoe took both women to his Los Angeles home, subjecting them to unwanted advances.

Lythgoe’s representatives have not responded to requests for comment on the latest lawsuit. An automatic email response from Lythgoe’s attorney’s office indicates closure until January 4.

Last week, in response to Paula Abdul’s allegations, Lythgoe issued a statement denying the accusations, describing them as “deeply offensive” and emphasizing his long-standing platonic friendship and professional relationship with Abdul. He cited Abdul’s “history of erratic behavior” and expressed his intention to fight the allegations.

The unnamed plaintiffs in Tuesday’s lawsuit reference California’s Sexual Abuse and Cover Up Accountability Act, mirroring Abdul’s legal approach. This act allows victims to file suits that would otherwise be barred by the statute of limitations in both California and New York.

The plaintiffs seek a jury trial and are pursuing “appropriate statutory damages.” While they were both over 18 at the time of the alleged assaults, they are also requesting “appropriate punitive or exemplary damages” and “special damages” for emotional distress and lost wages.

“All American Girl,” a talent competition exclusively for female contestants, resembled shows like “America’s Got Talent.” The disturbing allegations against Lythgoe raise concerns about the culture within the entertainment industry, prompting a closer examination of the treatment of contestants and the need for accountability.

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