Paula Abdul SUES American Idol producer and So You Think You Can Dance co-judge Nigel Lythgoe for alleged ‘sexual assault’

Paula Abdul has sued American Idol executive producer and her former So You Think You Can Dance co-judge, Nigel Lythgoe, for alleged sexual assault, in a lawsuit that was filed in Los Angeles on Friday.

In documents obtained by The Blast, the Opposites Attract singer, 61, claimed that the TV personality, 74, had sexually assaulted her on more than one occasion, and also ‘verbally insulated and belittled’ her.

The star explained that in 2001, she was approached by FOX to appear as a judge in an American version of the singing competition series called Pop Idol – which Lythgoe also helped produce.

Due to being ‘intrigued’ by the show, she attended a meeting with both executives and producers on the series. She then alleged that she was ‘verbally insulted and belittled by [Nigel] Lythgoe.’ 

Abdul stated that he had told her that, ‘she was a “has been” celebrity and probably wouldn’t be known by the show’s contestants’ – despite others believing ‘she was exactly what they were looking for.’ 

In documents obtained by The Blast, the Opposites Attract singer claimed that the TV personality had sexually assaulted her on more than one occasion, and also 'verbally insulated and belittled' her; seen earlier this month in L.A.

Paula Abdul, 61, has sued American Idol executive producer and her former So You Think You Can Dance co-judge, Nigel Lythgoe, 74, for alleged sexual assault, in a lawsuit that was filed in Los Angeles on Friday; seen earlier this month in NYC 

Paula had ‘grave reservations about appearing on the show and informed her representatives about such concerns’ but both she and her team hoped that the incident was only a ‘one-time’ occurrence. 

In the documents, the Straight Up songstress claimed that the first instance of sexual assault had happened during one of American Idol’s first seasons, while on the road for regional auditions.

‘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.’ 

The lawsuit claims that Abdul ‘attempted to push’ Nigel away and that she hurried to her room once the elevator doors opened. She immediately reached out to her reps to inform them of the incident. 

The second alleged occurrence took place during a dinner held at Lythgoe’s house, after she had signed a contract to appear as a judge on So You Think You Can Dance in 2015, per TMZ. 

Assuming the dinner was on a professional basis, Paula attended the dinner.  However, she claimed that at one point, while they were both sitting on a couch, Lythgoe had tried force himself on top of her. 

She also stated in the documents that he had also ‘attempted to kiss’ her while telling her that they would make an ‘excellent power couple.’ 

In the documents, the Straight Up songstress claimed that the first instance of sexual assault had happened during one of American Idol's first seasons, while on the road for regional auditions; Paula and Nigel seen in 2016 in Beverly Hills

In the documents, the Straight Up songstress claimed that the first instance of sexual assault had happened during one of American Idol’s first seasons, while on the road for regional auditions; Paula and Nigel seen in 2016 in Beverly Hills 

The lawsuit claims that Abdul 'attempted to push' Nigel away and that she hurried to her room once the elevator doors opened. She immediately reached out to her reps to inform them of the incident; Paula seen with Randy Jackson, Simon Cowell and Lythgoe in 2005

The lawsuit claims that Abdul ‘attempted to push’ Nigel away and that she hurried to her room once the elevator doors opened. She immediately reached out to her reps to inform them of the incident; Paula seen with Randy Jackson, Simon Cowell and Lythgoe in 2005 

The lawsuit claims that Abdul, ‘pushed him off, explaining she was not interested in his advances, and immediately left.’ 

However, due to fear of ‘possible implications to her career,’ the dancer chose to stay quiet on the incident. 

In the documents, Paula additionally claimed that she had witnessed Nigel sexual assault one of her assistants. 

According to TMZ, the singer also alleged that Lythgoe had called her at one point to say they should celebrate because it had been ‘7 years and the statute of limitations had run.’ 

The star is not only suing Nigel, but also 19 Entertainment and Fremantle Media North America. 

Per The Blast, the lawsuit also states, ‘Throughout her tenure on American Idol, Abdul not only was discriminated against in terms of compensation and benefits as compared to one of the show’s male judges and host (making nearly pennies to the dollar of what one of her male counterparts were making)…’

‘But she was the target of constant taunts, bullying, humiliation, and harassment from Lythgoe and other executives, agents, employees, and/or representatives of the show’s producers, 19 Entertainment and Fremantle.’ 

Paula notably appeared as one of the original judges on American Idol from 2002 through 2009. Nigel had been one of the executive producers on the hit show. 

The second alleged occurrence took place during a dinner held at Lythgoe's house, after she had signed a contract to appear as a judge on So You Think You Can Dance in 2015, per TMZ; seen in 2013 in L.A.

The second alleged occurrence took place during a dinner held at Lythgoe’s house, after she had signed a contract to appear as a judge on So You Think You Can Dance in 2015, per TMZ; seen in 2013 in L.A. 

She later became a judge on the American version of So You Think You Can Dance alongside Lythgoe during the show’s 12th season, but made her exit shortly before season 14 to focus on her tour. 

According to TMZ, Paula has made the decision to finally come forward with the lawsuit due to California’s Sexual Abuse and Cover Up Accountability Act. 

The law, which was officially passed earlier this year, offers a ‘three-year window for survivors of sexual assault to file a claim and recover damages as a result of crimes that occurred on or after January 1, 2009,’ per the California Public Agency of Labor & Employment. 

‘From January 1, 2023 through December 31, 2026, sexual assault and abuse claims, which would otherwise be barred by the statute of limitations, will be revived and officially be eligible to be brought in civil court…’ 

She later became a judge on the American version of So You Think You Can Dance alongside Lythgoe during the show's 12th season, but made her exit shortly before season 14 to focus on her tour; seen in 2015 with judge Jason Derulo and Lythgoe

She later became a judge on the American version of So You Think You Can Dance alongside Lythgoe during the show’s 12th season, but made her exit shortly before season 14 to focus on her tour; seen in 2015 with judge Jason Derulo and Lythgoe 

Paula’s successful career began as a choreographer when she was discovered by The Jacksons. 

She later released her debut studio album, Forever Your Girl, in 1988 – which launched her success in the music industry.

Abdul was married to Emilio Estevez from 1992 until their divorce in 1994. She later tied the knot with Brad Beckerman in 1996 until the pair divorced in 1998. 

Nigel, who was born in England, began performing at a young age before finding success in the television industry. He was married to Bonita Shawe from 1974 until their divorce in 2010 and the former couple share two children together.  

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