Former 'American Idol' Producer Nigel Lythgoe Hit with Fourth Sexual Assault Lawsuit

Director and former American Idol producer Nigel Lythgoe is facing a fourth sexual assault lawsuit. The complaint, filed on Tuesday, involves an alleged incident that occurred in 2018, and came hours after Lythgoe tried to refute separate allegations from singer Paula Abdul.

“Lythgoe’s sexual assault and battery were so traumatizing that Plaintiff no longer feels like the confident, capable, and independent woman that she was before the incident,” the lawsuit filed Tuesday by Jane Doe read, according to a report by Deadline.

Johnson and Johnson attorney Melissa Eubanks said, “We far too often hear the stories of women who have been punished by superiors for rebuking unwanted sexual advances,” after Tuesday’s filing, adding, “Our Jane Doe’s experience with Mr. Lythgoe is no different.”

“After more than a decade-long professional and cordial relationship, Mr. Lythgoe allegedly forced himself upon our client during what was supposed to be a business meeting and then terminated their relationship when she did not acquiesce,” Eubanks continued.

“We hope that stories like this will become a thing of the past, and we continue to be proud to support the women who are finally standing up to say: ‘enough is enough,” the attorney added.

Tuesday’s lawsuit means that Fox’s So You Think You Can Dance co-creator and judge has been accused of sexual assault for the fourth time in less than three months.

In December, Paula Abdul filed a lawsuit accusing Lythgoe of sexually assaulting her in the early 2000s and in 2015, when she was a judge on the reality competition show American Idol.

The lawsuit claimed that the first sexual assault occurred while Abdul and Lythgoe were on the road filming auditions for an earlier season of American Idol, which premiered in 2002.

Abdul alleges that Lythgoe groped her in the elevator of their hotel after a day of filming and “began shoving his tongue down her throat,” resulting in her pushing him away and running into her hotel room once the elevator doors opened.

The singer is also accusing the former American Idol producer of forcing himself on top of her during a dinner at his home and trying to kiss her around 2015, after she became a judge on So You Think You Can Dance. Abdul said she again pushed Lythgoe away and immediately left.

Lythgoe is also facing sexual assault allegations from two other women who filed a separate lawsuit in January, alleging that the producer forcibly tried to kiss them after a 2003 wrap party when they were contestants on the competition series All American Girl.

You can follow Alana Mastrangelo on Facebook and X/Twitter at @ARmastrangelo, and on Instagram.


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