Popular singer and dancer, Paula Abdul has filed a lawsuit against American Idol executive producer, Nigel Lythgoe, alleging that he sexually assaulted her multiple times while she was judging ‘Idol’ and “So You Think You Can Dance”.
The singer filed the lawsuit in L.A. County on Friday, 29th December.
Paula alleged that the first assault took place during one of American Idol’s initial seasons while they were on the road for regional auditions.
According to her, she and Lythgoe got into an elevator at their hotel, and once the doors closed he held her against the wall and grabbed her genitals and breasts as he tried to tongue-kiss her.
She said she tried to push him away, and then ran to her room as soon as the elevator doors opened.
The singer said that she immediately called one of her reps to inform them about the alleged incident, but due to fear of been fired in retaliation, she decided to keep it to herself.
Narrating how the second alleged assault took place, she said that it was after she signed a new contract in 2015 to be a judge on ‘SYTYCD’, which was also executive produced by Lythgoe.
According to court documents, Paula alleged that at some point during her 2 seasons on the show, Lythgoe invited her to his house to discuss work opportunities and she she accepted with thoughts that it was a professional situation.
She said that the evening ended with Lythgoe forcing himself on top of her while she was on a couch and trying to kiss her.
Paula alleged he told her they would make an “excellent power couple.”
She said that she pushed him off of her, clearly stating she was not interested and left immediately.
The singer also alleged there was another incident that happened in 2015 when she judged ‘SYTYCD’, where she witnessed Lythgoe grope one of her assistants.
Aside from the disturbing allegations of assault, the singer also claimed Lythgoe mocked 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.”
She also alleged that she was the victim of harassment and discrimination, in terms of compensation, during her time judging ‘American Idol.’
The popular singer is suing Lythgoe, 19 Entertainment and FremantleMedia North America for sexual assault and battery, sexual harassment, gender violence and negligence.
According to Paula, she’s coming forward now due to California’s Sexual Abuse and Cover Up Accountability Act, which gives plaintiffs a window to file claims that would otherwise be barred by the statute of limitations.