June 12, 2024

Paula Abdul has accused former “American Idol” producer Nigel Lythgoe of sexually assaulting her within the early 2000s when she was a decide on the truth competitors present, in response to a brand new lawsuit.

The lawsuit filed Friday in Los Angeles additionally accuses Lythgoe of sexually assaulting Abdul after she left “American Idol” and have become a decide on Lythgoe’s different competitors present “So You Suppose You Can Dance.”

The Related Press typically doesn’t establish alleged victims of sexual assault except they arrive ahead publicly, as Abdul has performed.

In a press release Saturday, Abdul’s lawyer Douglas Johnson applauded the singer and dancer for talking out publicly.

“It was clearly a tough choice to make, however Ms. Abdul is aware of that she stands each within the footwear and on the shoulders of many different equally located survivors, and she or he is set to see that justice is finished,” Johnson stated.

Lythgoe stated in a press release that he was “shocked and saddened” to listen to of the allegations made by Abdul, who he stated he thought-about a “expensive” and “totally platonic” buddy.

“Whereas Paula’s historical past of erratic habits is well-known, I can not faux to know precisely why she would file a lawsuit that she should know is unfaithful,” Lythgoe stated within the assertion. “However I can promise that I’ll battle this appalling smear with every part I’ve.”

The lawsuit states Abdul remained silent for years concerning the alleged assaults out of concern of retaliation by “probably the most well-known producers of tv competitors exhibits.”

Earlier than “American Idol” and “So You Suppose You Can Dance,” on which Lythgoe served as a decide for 16 seasons, he was a producer on the British present “Pop Idol,” which grew to become a worldwide franchise that features the U.S. iteration starring Abdul.

In accordance with the lawsuit, the primary sexual assault occurred whereas Abdul and Lythgoe had 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 “started shoving his tongue down her throat.” Abdul pushed him away and ran to her lodge room when the elevator doorways opened.

“In tears, Abdul rapidly referred to as one among her representatives to tell them of the assault,” the lawsuit says, “however finally determined to not take motion for concern that Lythgoe would have her fired from American Idol.”

Abdul, a Grammy- and Emmy-winning artist, starred as a decide for the primary eight seasons, leaving in 2009.

In 2015, Abdul grew to become a decide on “So You Suppose You Can Dance,” showing alongside Lythgoe.

Round that point, Abdul alleged within the lawsuit, Lythgoe compelled himself on prime of her throughout a dinner at his house and tried to kiss her. Abdul stated she once more pushed Lythgoe away and instantly left.

Abdul left the truth present after two seasons. She has not labored with Lythgoe since.

The lawsuit additionally accuses Lythgoe of taunting Abdul concerning the alleged assaults, saying to her years later that “they need to have fun” as a result of “the statute of limitations had run.”

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.

Greater than 3,700 authorized claims had been filed beneath the same regulation in New York that expired final month.

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