Paula Abdul accuses American Idol executive producer of sexual assault

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Singer-dancer Paula Abdul has filed a lawsuit, accusing American Idol executive producer Nigel Lythgoe of sexual assault. In the suit, she alleged that during one of the early seasons of American Idol, Nigel sexually assaulted her in an elevator, Variety reported. (Also Read | Paula Abdul dances her way into drama, is she joining the Real Housewives franchise?)

Paula Abdul spoke about Nigel Lythgoe.
Paula Abdul spoke about Nigel Lythgoe.

Paula alleged that he shoved her against a wall and grabbed her privates. According to the suit, she tried to push him away, and as soon as the hotel door opened, she ran to her room.

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Years later, Paula was a judge on So You Think You Can Dance. Nigel invited her to his home for dinner, and she accepted, thinking it would be a professional encounter, Paula recalled. However, according to the suit, Nigel attempted to kiss her saying they would make a great “power couple.” Again, she pushed him away and fled his home, the lawsuit stated.

Paula also alleged that she witnessed Nigel sexually assault one of her assistants in April 2015.

“For years, Abdul has remained silent about the sexual assaults and harassment she experienced on account of Lythgoe due to fear of speaking out against one of the most well-known producers of television competition shows who could easily break her career as a television personality and of being ostracized and blackballed by an industry that had a pattern of protecting powerful men and silencing survivors of sexual assault and harassment,” the lawsuit stated.

Paula signed non-disclosure agreements as part of her employment on both reality shows, which prevented her from disclosing confidential or derogatory information.

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