Home Entertainment Paula Abdul accuses former “American Idol” executive producer Nigel Lithgow of sexual harassment in a new lawsuit.

Paula Abdul accuses former “American Idol” executive producer Nigel Lithgow of sexual harassment in a new lawsuit.


Paula Abdul has accused former “American Idol” executive producer Nigel Lithgow of “multiple sexual assaults” and harassment while she was a judge on “So You Think You Can Dance.”

According to documents filed Friday in Los Angeles Superior Court, Abdul contends she had a disastrous relationship with “American Idol” producers, was paid less than male judges and was harassed by show executives and bullies throughout her time on the show. employees.

Paula Abdul and Nigel Lithgow in 2013.

Getty Images

“During the early seasons of ‘American Idol,’ while on the way to the show’s regional auditions, according to court documents, Lithgow sexually assaulted Abdul. “One evening, after the day’s auditions, Lithgow and Abdul entered the elevator of the hotel where they were staying. As Lithgow entered the elevator, he shoved Abdul against a wall, then grabbed her genitals and breasts and began shoving his tongue down her throat.

“Abdul tried to push Lithgow away from her and let him know his behavior was unacceptable. As the elevator doors opened for her floor, Abdul ran from the elevator to her hotel room.”

Representatives for the 74-year-old Lithgow could not be reached late Friday for comment.

According to court documents, Abdul, now 61, immediately contacted her representatives and told them what had happened, but she decided not to “act out of fear that Lithgow would fire her” from the show.

Court documents contend Abdul signed a contract in 2015 to appear as a judge in another Lithgow production, “So You Think You Can Dance.” According to the lawsuit, at the time, Abdul believed it was a professional invitation to attend a dinner at Lithgow’s home to discuss other professional opportunities.

“But toward the end of the evening, Lithgow forced himself on Abdul as she sat on his couch and tried to kiss her, declaring that the two would make a wonderful “power couple,” according to court documents. “Abdul pushed Lithgow away from her, saying she was not interested in his advances. explained and immediately left Lithgow’s house.”

Fearing retaliation, she did not speak about the incident, according to court documents. Abdul argued that Lithgow physically assaulted one of his female assistants.

According to court documents, Abdul “remained silent for years out of fear of speaking out against one of the most famous producers of television competition shows, who could easily destroy her career as a television personality.” However, she “doesn’t want to be silent anymore.”

The suit, seeking unspecified damages, alleges sexual assault/battery, sexual harassment, gender-based violence and negligence.

In addition to Lithgow, the lawsuit also includes 19 Entertainment Inc., Fremantle North America, American Idol Productions and Dance Nation Productions.


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