Paula Abdul has accused former “American Idol” executive producer Nigel Lythgoe of “multiple sexual assaults” and harassment while she was a judge on the program and “So You Think You Can Dance.”
In a new lawsuit, filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, Abdul alleged that Lythgoe sexually assaulted her during one of the initial seasons of “American Idol,” then again years later in 2014 when she was hosting “So You Think You Can Dance.”
Abdul also claimed that she had a strained relationship with “American Idol” producers throughout her time on the show and even received less payment compared to the male judges. She also alleged that she was subjected to taunts and bullying by show executives and employees.
In a statement, via The New York Times, Lythgoe denied the allegations, adding that he would “fight this appalling smear with everything I have.”
“To say that I am shocked and saddened by the allegations made against me by Paula Abdul is a wild understatement,” he said in the statement. “For more than two decades, Paula and I have interacted as dear – and entirely platonic – friends and colleagues. Yesterday, however, out of the blue, I learned of these claims in the press and I want to be clear: Not only are they false, they are deeply offensive to me and to everything I stand for.”
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