LOS ANGELES — Paula Abdul has accused former “American Idol” producer Nigel Lythgoe of sexually assaulting her within the early 2000s when she was a choose on the truth competitors present, in line with a brand new lawsuit.
The lawsuit filed in Los Angeles additionally accuses Lythgoe of sexually assaulting Abdul after she left “American Idol” and have become a choose on Lythgoe’s different competitors present “So You Think You Can Dance.”
In a press release, Abdul’s lawyer Douglas Johnson applauded the singer and dancer for talking out publicly.
“It was clearly a difficult decision to make, but Ms. Abdul knows that she stands both in the shoes and on the shoulders of many other similarly situated survivors, and she is determined to see that justice is done,” Johnson mentioned.
Lythgoe mentioned in a press release that he was “shocked and saddened” to listen to of the allegations made by Abdul, who he mentioned he thought-about a “dear” and “entirely platonic” good friend.
“While Paula’s history of erratic behavior is well known, I can’t pretend to understand exactly why she would file a lawsuit that she must know is untrue,” Lythgoe mentioned within the assertion. “But I can promise that I will fight this appalling smear with everything I have.”
The lawsuit states Abdul remained silent for years concerning the alleged assaults out of concern of retaliation by “one of the most well-known producers of television competition shows.”
Before “American Idol” and “So You Think You Can Dance,” on which Lythgoe served as a choose for 16 seasons, he was a producer on the British present “Pop Idol,” which grew to become a world franchise that features the U.S. iteration starring Abdul.
According to the lawsuit, the primary sexual assault occurred whereas Abdul and Lythgoe have been on the street filming auditions for an earlier season of “American Idol,” which premiered in 2002.
Abdul says Lythgoe groped her within the elevator of their lodge after a day of filming and “began shoving his tongue down her throat.” Abdul pushed him away and ran to her lodge room when the elevator doorways opened.
“In tears, Abdul quickly called one of her representatives to inform them of the assault,” the lawsuit says, “but ultimately decided not to take action for fear that Lythgoe would have her fired from American Idol.”
Abdul, a Grammy- and Emmy-winning artist, starred as a choose for the primary eight seasons, leaving in 2009.
Abdul filed the swimsuit days earlier than the Dec. 31 deadline of a California regulation that opened a one-year window for victims to file lawsuits involving sexual abuse claims after the statute of limitations has run out.