Ancient ‘American idol‘ judge Paula Abdoul filed a lawsuit against ‘So you think you can dance’ chief Nigel Lythgoe for sexual assault.
According to legal documents obtained by The BlastThe “Straight Up” singer claims Nigel Lythgoe “verbally isolated and belittled” her on several occasions, before “sexually assaulting” her during an early season of “American Idol.”
In the filing, the singer claims it all started around early 2001, when Paula Abdul’s business manager was approached by FOX about an opportunity for Abdul to appear as a judge on “Pop Idol,” which was the soon-to-be-aired American version. of the British television singing competition.
When approached by FOX, Abdul was just coming off a six-year break, which she took due to injuries sustained in an accident. Because she needed to make a comeback, Abdul was “intrigued by the opportunity,” the documents state.
Nigel Lythgoe accused of assaulting and harassing Paula Abdul
Paula Abdul then met with the show’s executives and producers, where she claims she was “verbally insulted and belittled by (Nigel) Lythgoe,” who was one of the executive producers of the competing show “Pop Idol.”
In the lawsuit, Abdul claims that Lythgoe told him that “she was a celebrity” and would likely not be known to the contestants on the show.
Despite Lythgoe’s discriminatory comments, Abdul claims other producers and executives said “she was exactly what they were looking for,” but the singer left the meeting “with serious reservations about appearing on the show and informed its representatives of these concerns.
Ultimately, Abdul and his team decided to put Lythgoe’s comments aside and take a chance on the show, hoping that his actions would be a “one-off” thing.
Paula Abdul accuses Nigel Lythgoe of sexual assault
In the new lawsuit, obtained by The Blast, Abdul claims that “during one of the early seasons of American Idol, while she was on her way to the show’s regional auditions, Lythgoe sexually assaulted her.”
The doctors continue: “One evening, after the day’s hearings, Lythgoe and Abdul entered the elevator of the hotel where they were staying. Upon entering the elevator, Lythgoe pushed Abdul against the wall, then grabbed her genitals and breasts, and started pushing her breasts. Tongue down her throat. Abdul tried to push Lythgoe away from her. When the elevator doors to his floor opened, Abdul ran out out of the elevator and towards his hotel room. Abdul quickly called one of his representatives in tears to inform them of the assault.”
On a second occasion, Paula claims she was attacked while attending a dinner at the American Idol boss’ house.
During dinner, she says Lythgoe forced himself on her while she was sitting on her couch and “tried to kiss her” while proclaiming the two would make a great “power couple.”
Abdul “rejected him, explaining that she was not interested in his advances, and immediately left,” it says.
Again, she claims reporting of the incident was withheld because of the possible implications for her work and career.
Surprisingly, she says she’s not the only one who has had to deal with this behavior. In the suit, she claims she saw him sexually assault one of his assistants.
Paula Abdul claims Nigel Lythgoe discriminated against her
As you know, Paula Abdul’s participation in “American Idol” as a judge on the show was a huge success, attracting viewers among viewers for several seasons. In fact, “during his tenure on the show, which lasted eight seasons from 2002 to 2009, the show’s viewership and ratings skyrocketed, reaching their peak between seasons 5 and 8. Tellingly, ratings and ratings began to decline almost immediately after Abdul’s departure. of the show,” the documents state.
It didn’t take long before Abdul realized that Lythgoe’s comments and assault were not a “one-off” event, as the documents state:
“Throughout his tenure on “American Idol,” Abdul not only faced discrimination in pay and benefits compared to one of the show’s male judges and hosts (who won close to a few cents on the dollar of what one of her male counterparts earned), but she was the constant target of taunts, intimidation, humiliation and harassment from Lythgoe and other leaders, agents, employees and/or representatives of the producers of the series, 19 Entertainment and Fremantle.
Abdul later gave an example in his lawsuit, stating that “show producers often misleadingly edited or showed footage of Abdul that made her appear to viewers as if she was incompetent, which was not true.” The documents also state that this was happening despite producers knowing she was undergoing multiple spinal surgeries during her tenure on the show.
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