Pop icon Paula Abdul has filed a lawsuit alleging… American Idol Nigel Lythgoe Sexual Assault Producer.
The lawsuit filed in Los Angeles on Friday alleges that Lithgow sexually assaulted her in the early 2000s while she was in American Idol After I left that show and became a judge on another Lithgow competition series, So you think you can dance.
Abdul's attorney, Douglas Johnson, issued a statement on Saturday saying: “It is clearly a difficult decision, but Ms. Abdul knows that she stands in the shoes and shoulders of many other survivors who are in a similar situation, and she is determined to see that justice is done. “
ABC News reported, “Lythgoe said in a statement that he was shocked and saddened when he heard about the allegations made by Abdul, whom he said he considered a 'dear' and 'entirely platonic' friend.”
Lithgow also spoke of Abdel's history of “erratic behavior.”
“Although Paula's history of erratic behavior is well known, I cannot pretend to understand exactly why she would file a lawsuit that she must know is untrue,” Lithgow said in the statement. “But I can promise that I will fight this horrific slander with everything I have.”
Abdul's lawsuit claims she kept silent about the assault for many years out of fear of retaliation from “one of television's most famous game show producers.”
ABC News reports:
According to the lawsuit, the first sexual assault occurred while Abdul and Lithgow were on the road filming auditions for a previous season of “American Idol,” which premiered in 2002.
Abdul says Lithgow groped her in the hotel elevator after a day of filming and “started shoving his tongue down her throat.” Abdul pushed him away and ran to her hotel room when the elevator doors opened.
“A tearful Abdul quickly called one of her representatives to report the assault, but ultimately decided not to take any action for fear that Lithgow would get her fired from American Idol,” the lawsuit said.
Abdul left American Idol in 2009 after being a judge for the first eight seasons.
She became a judge at Lythgoe's So you think you can dance In 2015.
“Around that time, Abdul alleged in the lawsuit, Lithgow forced himself on her during dinner at his home and tried to kiss her. Abdul said she pushed Lithgow away again and immediately left.
“The lawsuit also accuses Lithgow of taunting Abdul about the alleged assaults, telling her years later that 'they should celebrate' because 'the statute of limitations had passed,'” the report adds.
Abdul has not worked with Lythgoe since leaving the dance competition show.
The lawsuit was filed just before the Dec. 31 deadline for California's one-year window for sexual assault victims to file complaints if the statute of limitations has expired.