Paula Abdul Accuses Nigel Lythgoe of Sexual Assault
In a shocking turn of events, Paula Abdul has filed a lawsuit against Nigel Lythgoe, one of the executive producers of “American Idol” and “So You Think You Can Dance”, alleging multiple instances of sexual assault and harassment. The lawsuit was filed in L.A. County on Friday, and the details are nothing short of disturbing.
Allegations of Assault
According to the lawsuit obtained by TMZ, Abdul claims that the first assault occurred during one of the initial seasons of “American Idol” while they were on the road for regional auditions. She alleges that Lythgoe shoved her against the wall in an elevator at their hotel, and proceeded to grope her genitals and breasts, and attempted to tongue-kiss her. She further claims that she tried to push him away and immediately ran to her room once the elevator doors opened. However, out of fear of being fired in retaliation, she chose to keep quiet and only informed one of her reps about the incident.
The lawsuit states that a second encounter took place after Abdul signed a new contract in 2015 to be a judge on ‘So You Think You Can Dance’. In this instance, Lythgoe invited her to his house to discuss work opportunities. Abdul, thinking it was a professional situation, accepted the invitation. However, she alleges that the evening ended with Lythgoe forcing himself on top of her while she was on a couch, and trying to kiss her, claiming they would make an “excellent power couple”. She pushed him off and immediately left.
Discrimination and Harassment
Apart from the assault allegations, Abdul also claims that she was a victim of harassment and discrimination when it came to compensation during her time judging on ‘American Idol’. She alleges that Lythgoe “taunted” her by calling her at some point to say they should celebrate because it had been “7 years and the statute of limitations had run.”
In response to the alleged assault and harassment, Abdul is suing Lythgoe, 19 Entertainment, and FremantleMedia North America for sexual assault and battery, sexual harassment, gender violence, and negligence.
The decision to come forward at this time is due to California’s Sexual Abuse and Cover Up Accountability Act, which provides plaintiffs a window to file claims that would otherwise be barred by the statute of limitations. Calling out these actions and holding those responsible accountable is a crucial part of the ongoing movement to bring justice to victims of abuse and assault.
This lawsuit comes at a time when the #MeToo movement has been instrumental in shedding light on the prevalence of sexual harassment and assault in various industries. It has empowered countless individuals to speak out against their abusers and has led to a call for systemic change in how these issues are handled and addressed. Abdul’s decision to take legal action against her alleged abuser is a significant step in seeking justice and accountability.
Response from Lythgoe
As of now, there has been no response from Lythgoe regarding the lawsuit and the serious allegations made against him. It remains to be seen how he will choose to address these disturbing accusations.
This lawsuit serves as a stark reminder of the importance of creating safe and respectful work environments, where individuals are not subjected to harassment, discrimination, or assault. It is crucial for organizations and individuals alike to take a stand against such behavior and actively work towards preventing and addressing these issues.
As more details emerge and the legal process unfolds, it is essential to lend support to the survivors who have come forward with their stories. Their bravery in speaking out against their abusers is a testament to their resilience and courage.
The fight for justice and accountability continues, and it is a collective responsibility to stand with those who have experienced trauma and to advocate for a future free from fear and harassment.