On Friday (12.20,) Paula Abdul. filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles against Nigel Lythgoe, the former American Idol executive producer, accusing him of sexually assaulting her when they worked together.
“Shocked and saddened” by the sexual assault allegations made against him by his former collaborator, Lythgoe asserted he doesn’t understand why Abdul “would file a lawsuit that she must know is untrue” and insisted he will “fight this appalling smear with everything I have”.
In a formal statement about the lawsuit, Nigel said:
“To say that I am shocked and saddened by the allegations made against me by Paula Abdul is a wild understatement.””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 her lawsuit, the now 61-year-old singer/host, who served as an American Idol judge between 2002 and 2009, alleged that the Lythgoe, now 74, pushed her against the wall of a hotel elevator, groped her genitals and breasts and kissed her against her consent. The former pop star also claimed that the choreographer made unwanted advances years later when they worked as co-judges on So You Think You Can Dance.
Abdul, who was a main judge between 2015 and 2016, alleged Lythgoe forced himself on top of her while she was seated on his couch after dinner at his home and he “attempted to kiss her while proclaiming that the two would make an excellent ‘power couple’.”
Paula Abdul is suing Nigel Lythgoe for alleged sexual assault, sexual harassment, gender violence and negligence.