Allegations Spanning “American Idol” and “So You Think You Can Dance” Bring Shock to Entertainment Industry
In a shocking turn of events, renowned singer and former “American Idol” judge Paula Abdul has filed a lawsuit against Nigel Lythgoe, a former producer of “American Idol” and “So You Think You Can Dance,” accusing him of multiple instances of sexual assault. The lawsuit, filed in Los Angeles, details disturbing incidents that allegedly occurred during the peak of the shows’ popularity.
Abdul, 61, claims that Lythgoe, 74, first sexually assaulted her during the early seasons of “American Idol.” The suit describes an incident in a hotel elevator where Lythgoe allegedly shoved Abdul against a wall, groped her genitals and breasts, and forcefully kissed her. Despite Abdul’s attempt to push him away, the assault continued until she managed to escape when the elevator doors opened. Fearing retaliation, Abdul remained silent about the incident.
The lawsuit further alleges a second assault in 2014, where Lythgoe invited Abdul to his home under the guise of a professional dinner. According to the suit, Lythgoe allegedly forced himself on top of Abdul, attempting to kiss her and proclaiming they would make an “excellent power couple.” Abdul pushed him away and left, yet again choosing to remain silent due to Lythgoe’s perceived power.
In a disturbing revelation, Abdul claims to have witnessed Lythgoe sexually assaulting one of her assistants during the filming of “So You Think You Can Dance” in 2015. The lawsuit details Lythgoe’s alleged taunts and insults, indicating his awareness of the inappropriate nature of his actions.
Lythgoe, in response to the accusations, vehemently denies the allegations, stating that he and Abdul have been “dear – and entirely platonic – friends and colleagues” for more than two decades. He describes the claims as “false” and “deeply offensive,” expressing his intention to fight against the allegations.
The lawsuit names production companies associated with the shows, including American Idol Productions, Dance Nation Productions, 19 Entertainment, and FremantleMedia North America, as defendants. This legal action comes amid a wave of high-profile figures facing sexual abuse allegations following changes in legislation in New York and California temporarily waiving the statute of limitations on such claims.