Paula Abdul

Paula Abdul Files a Sexual Assault Lawsuit Against “American Idol” Producer Nigel Lythgoe

Last Updated: 30 December 2023By

Paula Abdul has filed a lawsuit against So You Think You Can Dance producer and former American Idol Nigel Lythgoe, alleging he repeatedly sexually abused her.

The singer claimed that Lythgoe had sexually abused her in 2014 while she was hosting So You Think You Can Dance and in one of the early seasons of American Idol in a lawsuit she filed on Friday against Lythgoe and the show’s production company.

In one incident, the lawsuit claims Lythgoe sexually molested Abdul in an elevator at a hotel they were both staying at while going for an audition for a singing competition event, according to documents acquired by Rolling Stone magazine. The lawsuit states that the incident occurred during the “early seasons” of the show, although it does not specify the year it occurred.

Paula Abdul

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The lawsuit claims that after pushing Abdul up against the wall, Lythgoe grabbed her breasts and genitalia and started pushing his tongue into her throat. Abdul made an effort to push Lythgoe away. Abdul hurried from the elevator to her hotel room as soon as the doors to the elevator for her opened. Abdul promptly informed one of her representatives about the attack over the phone while sobbing. Years later, according to the lawsuit, Lythgoe allegedly sexually molested her once more in 2014 after inviting her to supper at his house. According to the lawsuit, Abdul didn’t go to the meal other than because she mistook it for a “professional invitation.”

As the event came to a close, Rolling Stone revealed that Lythgoe had pushed himself up against Abdul, who was sitting on his sofa, and tried to kiss her, saying that they would make a great “power couple.” “Abdul shoved Lythgoe away from her, telling him she didn’t like his advances, and she left right away.”

According to Abdul’s lawsuit, she remained silent about the two allegations because she was afraid of reprisals for the two purported occurrences. The complaint states that Abdul was “prohibited from publicly disclosing sensitive information” about the shows and their economic operations, as stipulated in her contracts with both American Idol and So You Think You Can Dance.

In other parts of the lawsuit, Abdul claimed that while filming So You Think You Can Dance in 2015, she also saw Lythgoe sexually abuse one of her helpers. Lythgoe “approached Abdul and April from behind, pressed himself up against April and began to grope her,” according to the singer. April declined to give her consent.

According to Abdul’s complaint, Lythgoe then allegedly teased her over the phone with his purported actions and occurrences. Lythgoe further claimed to have “clearly known that his assaults of Abdul were not just wrong but that he held the power to keep her silent against Abdul.”

Between 2002 and 2014, Lythgoe produced American Idol, and between 2005 and 2014, So You Think You Can Dance.

The production firms of the series, American Idol Productions, Dance Nation Productions, 19 Entertainment, and Fremantlemedia North America, were all named as defendants in the lawsuit in addition to Lythgoe.