A new lawsuit filed by Paula Abdul alleges that Nigel Lythgoe, a former executive producer of "American Idol", sexually assaulted her.

A new lawsuit filed by Paula Abdul alleges that Nigel Lythgoe, a former executive producer of “American Idol”, sexually assaulted her.

Paula Abdul has alleged that Nigel Lythgoe, former executive producer of “American Idol,” sexually assaulted her multiple times and subjected her to harassment during her time as a judge on the show and “So You Think You Can Dance.”

In legal documents submitted on Friday to Los Angeles Superior Court, Abdul alleges that she had a difficult relationship with the producers of “American Idol” while she was a judge on the show. She argues that she was paid less than the male judges and experienced harassment and mistreatment from both show executives and staff.


In 2013, Paula Abdul and Nigel Lythgoe were together.

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“During one of `American Idol’s’ initial seasons, while on the road for the show’s regional auditions, Lythgoe sexually assaulted Abdul,” according to the court papers. “One evening, following the day’s auditions, Lythgoe and Abdul entered the elevator of the hotel where they were staying. Upon entering the elevator, Lythgoe shoved Abdul against the wall, then grabbed her genitals and breasts and began shoving his tongue down her throat.

“Abdul tried to physically separate himself from Lythgoe and express to him that his actions were unacceptable. As soon as the elevator doors opened on her floor, Abdul quickly exited and headed towards her hotel room.”

There was no response from representatives of Lythgoe, age 74, when contacted for comment on Friday evening.

The court documents state that Abdul, who is now 61, promptly reached out to her representatives and informed them of the incident. However, she chose not to pursue any action out of concern that Lythgoe would terminate her from the show.

According to court records, Abdul signed an agreement in 2015 to serve as a judge on a different show produced by Lythgoe, called “So You Think You Can Dance.” The lawsuit states that during this period, Abdul received what she thought was a professional invitation to have dinner at Lythgoe’s house and discuss potential career options.

Near the end of the evening, Lythgoe made unwanted advances towards Abdul while she was sitting on his couch. He tried to kiss her and claimed that they would make a great “power couple,” according to legal documents. Abdul pushed Lythgoe away and made it clear that she was not interested, then promptly left his home.

According to the court documents, she refrained from speaking up about the incident due to fear of revenge. Abdul also claims to have seen Lythgoe physically touch one of her female assistants inappropriately.

Based on the legal documents, Abdul chose not to speak up for a long time because she was afraid of going against a popular producer of TV competition shows who could ruin her career as a TV personality. But now, she has decided to break her silence.

The lawsuit, which requests unspecified compensation, claims instances of sexual assault and battery, sexual harassment, gender-based violence, and negligence.

Lythgoe is not the only one mentioned in the lawsuit; 19 Entertainment Inc., Fremantle North America, American Idol Productions, and Dance Nation Productions are also named.

Source: cbsnews.com