“American Idol” star Paula Abdul, singer and dancer, filed a lawsuit accusing British television executive Nigel Lythgoe of sexually assaulting her..
Renowned U.S. singer, dancer, and “American Idol” luminary Paula Abdul has lodged a legal complaint, accusing British television executive Nigel Lythgoe of sexually assaulting her during their collaboration on two widely acclaimed talent shows, as per court records.
Abdul, who gained fame as a chart-topping singer in the late 1980s, asserted in a lawsuit filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court that Lythgoe sexually assaulted her in an elevator during the initial seasons of the TV singing competition series “American Idol.” Lythgoe, a producer of multiple hit television talent competitions, purportedly engaged in inappropriate physical contact, including groping Abdul’s breasts and genitals, in a hotel elevator after a day of auditions for “American Idol.” The court documents state that Abdul attempted to resist and swiftly fled as soon as the elevator doors opened.
Lythgoe, however, refuted the allegations, as reported by TMZ. He expressed, “For more than two decades, Paula and I have interacted as dear — and entirely platonic — friends and colleagues. 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.”
According to the court documents, Abdul promptly informed her representatives about the assault by Lythgoe, who was an “American Idol” producer at the time, but refrained from taking action due to job security concerns. Abdul’s contracts reportedly forbade her from speaking out.
The lawsuit detailed another alleged assault that occurred later when Abdul served as a judge on “So You Think You Can Dance.” This incident purportedly transpired at Lythgoe’s Los Angeles home after a work dinner, where the 74-year-old Lythgoe again faced rejection as Abdul firmly rebuffed him and left his residence immediately.
The legal filing also makes additional allegations against the entertainment industry figure, including Lythgoe taunting Abdul over the phone, claiming that the statute of limitations had expired on the alleged assaults after seven years. The lawsuit further contends that Abdul witnessed Lythgoe assaulting one of her assistants on “So You Think You Can Dance.”
The lawsuit was submitted just before the December 31 deadline set by California’s Sexual Abuse and Cover-Up Accountability Act, allowing individuals to file certain sexual abuse lawsuits that would otherwise fall outside the statute of limitations.