The entertainment industry is reeling with shock and sadness as news breaks of Paula Abdul filing a lawsuit against Nigel Lythgoe, renowned judge on “So You Think You Can Dance.” Fans of the beloved singer and dancer are finding it hard to believe that the woman they admired for her talent and grace is now making accusations of sexual assault against a man she worked closely with for many years.
Nigel Lythgoe, not only known for his role on “So You Think You Can Dance,” but also as an executive producer of “American Idol,” was Paula Abdul’s colleague and friend. The two have shared a platonic relationship for over two decades, making the allegations all the more shocking.
In her lawsuit, which was obtained by TMZ, Paula Abdul accuses Nigel of multiple instances of sexual assault during their time working together. The suit, filed on December 29 in LA County, includes charges of sexual assault and battery, sexual harassment, gender violence, and negligence against Nigel, as well as 19 Entertainment and FremantleMedia North America.
According to court documents, Paula alleges that the first assault took place during one of the early seasons of “American Idol” while they were on the road for regional auditions. She claims that Nigel assaulted her in an elevator at the hotel they were staying at. Paula recounts how Nigel pushed her against a wall, fondled her genitals and breast, and even tried to force a tongue-kiss on her. She tried to resist his advances by pushing him away and escaped to her hotel room as soon as the elevator doors opened.
Shaken by the experience, Paula immediately confided in one of the representatives on her team. However, fearing repercussions and possible termination, she decided to keep the incident to herself.
Years later, after signing a contract with “So You Think You Can Dance,” Paula alleges that Nigel once again assaulted her, this time at his house. Believing it was a professional discussion, Paula accepted Nigel’s invitation to discuss work opportunities. But to her surprise, he forced himself on top of her on a couch and attempted to kiss her. Paula pushed him off and swiftly left his house.
The allegations become even more disturbing as Paula claims that Nigel would taunt her about the assaults by making comments such as “they should celebrate because it has been seven years and the statute of limitations had run out.”
However, California’s Sexual Abuse and Cover Up Accountability Act has prompted Paula Abdul to break her silence and take legal action. She no longer wants to keep these traumatic experiences hidden.
As we navigate through this shocking revelation, let us remember that everyone deserves to be treated with respect and dignity. No one should be subjected to any form of sexual assault or harassment. It is our responsibility as a society to support survivors and advocate for change.
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