Paula Abdul sues ‘American Idol’ producer Nigel Lythgoe for sexual assault: reports

Paula Abdul has accused American Idol and So You Think You Can Dance executive producer Nigel Lythgoe of sexual assault, according to multiple reports.

In a lawsuit filed in Los Angeles on Friday, the 61-year-old singer claims that Lithgow, 74, sexually assaulted her twice during her time as a judge on the reality show. Abdul claimed the first incident occurred in an elevator during one of the “early seasons” of “American Idol.”

“Ms Lithgow pushed Ms Abdul against a wall, grabbed her genitals and breasts, and began pushing her tongue down her throat,” the newspaper said in court documents.

Paula Abdul has accused “American Idol” and “So You Think You Can Dance” executive producer Nigel Lythgoe of sexual assault in a new lawsuit. (Getty)

The lawsuit goes on to say, “Abdul tried to push Ms. Lithgow away from her. When her front elevator door opened, Mr. Abdul jumped out of the elevator and ran to his hotel room. Mr. Abdul immediately burst into tears. I called one of her agents and told them the following.'' Raid. ”

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Abdul was a member of the original judging panel of American Idol, along with Simon Cowell and Randy Jackson, for the show's first eight seasons from 2002 to 2009. Lithgow served as showrunner on American Idol from 2002 to 2008.

He returned as an executive producer for the show's 10th season in 2010, but left at the end of the 12th season in 2013. Lithgow returned to American Idol in 2016 and served as an executive producer for the show's series finale.

Lythgow co-created “So You Think You Can Dance” with “American Idol” creator Simon Fuller and was a judge on the first 16 seasons of the dance competition series from 2005 to 2019. served as a member. Earlier this month, Entertainment Weekly reported that Lithgow would be returning. She will be a judge on the upcoming 18th season of “SYTYCD”.

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Abdul claimed that the first incident happened during one of the “early seasons” of “American Idol.” (Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

Abdul served as a guest judge on season 10 of SYTYCD in 2013 and became a permanent judge on seasons 12 and 13 in 2015 and 2016. He was also a member of the judging panel for 'So You Think You Can Dance Australia'. ” during the show's fourth season in 2014.

According to Page Six, Abdul accused Lithgow of a second sexual assault in 2015 when he was a judge on SYTYCD. The 'Straight Up' singer claimed that the incident happened at her home after she and Lithgow had dinner together. . Mr Abdul said he attended the dinner because he believed Mr Lithgow had given him a “professional invitation” (page 6).

According to the newspaper, “Towards the end of the night, while Abdul was sitting on the couch, Lithgow forced himself on top of him and tried to kiss him, declaring that they would make a great 'power couple.'” the lawsuit alleges. .

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“Abdul pushed Lithgow away, explained that she was not interested in his advances, and immediately left,” the documents state.

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Abdul claimed that Lithgow sexually assaulted her for the second time while she was a judge on So You Think You Can Dance. (FOX Image Collection via Getty Images)

Additionally, Abdul accused Lithgow of sexually assaulting one of his assistants during the production of “SYTYCD'' in 2015, Page Six reported. Abdul claimed in her lawsuit that she witnessed an incident in which Lithgow allegedly “pushed his body against her” and “began groping” her assistant without her consent.

According to Variety, Abdul also accused Lithgow of verbal harassment and bullying during his appearance on American Idol. According to the show, her choreographer claimed she faced discrimination and paid her less than the show's male performers.

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“Abdul has remained silent for years about the sexual assault and harassment he experienced at the hands of Lithgow, fearing to speak out against one of the most famous producers of television competition shows. A person can easily ruin a career as a television personality by being ostracized and blackballed by an industry with a pattern of protecting the powerful and silencing victims of sexual assault and harassment. for being showered upon,” court documents state.

According to Page Six, Abdul claimed that he “knew and was aware” that his actions and behavior towards Lythgow were “inappropriate and even criminal.”

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The singer also accused Lithgow of sexually assaulting one of his assistants in 2015. (Steve Granitz/WireImage)

In court documents, the Grammy winner claims he received a mocking phone call from Lithgow years after the incident.

“In fact, at one point Ms. Lithgow called Mr. Abdul and berated him, telling him that he should celebrate because 'seven years have passed and the statute of limitations has run,'” the lawsuit alleges. “Lithgow clearly knew that her own assault on Abdul was not just wrong, but that he had the power to silence her.”

In addition to Lithgow, the producers of American Idol and SYTYCD were also named as defendants in the lawsuit, including American Idol Productions, Dance Nation Productions, 19 Entertainment and FremantleMedia North America.


Abdul's lawsuit was filed under California's Sexual Abuse and Concealed Liability Act, which extends the statute of limitations for civil lawsuits in some sexual assault cases.

Representatives for Mr. Abdul and Mr. Lithgow did not immediately respond to Fox News Digital's requests for comment.



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