Another Woman Is Suing Nigel Lythgoe for Sexual Assault

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Two months after Paula Abdul and two unidentified women accused former American Idol and So You Think You Can Dance producer Nigel Lythgoe of sexual assault, Lythgoe has been hit with another lawsuit. On Tuesday, a woman identified as Jane Doe filed a suit with the Los Angeles Superior Court, accusing Lythgoe of sexual battery, gender violence, sexual harassment, and intentional inflectional of emotional distress after an alleged incident at his home in Los Angeles in 2018.

In heavily redacted court documents reviewed by Deadline, a woman described as “plaintiff” alleges that in 2018, Lythgoe invited her to his home. After engaging in a few minutes of professional conversation, “Lythgoe suddenly forced Plaintiff against the property’s exterior side wall by shoving his knee between her legs and then started licking Plaintiff’s neck, touching her genitalia, and grouping her all over.” The woman “tried to push Lythgoe away from her but he had her pinned against the wall so that she could not move,” and “Lythgoe continued to grope and tried to kiss Plaintiff.”

Once the woman was able to break free, she ran out of the home, per the suit. The woman says that she has “suffered severe emotional and psychological distress, guilt, humiliation, and embarrassment, all of which have greatly impacted her professional and personal life,” according to the filing.

The alleged incident is similar to what the other lawsuits against Lythgoe previously described. In December, Abdul filed a suit alleging that during one of the early seasons of American Idol — on which she was a judge from 2002 to 2009 — Lythgoe, “shoved” her against an elevator wall, “grabbed her genitals and breasts, and began shoving his tongue down her throat.” She also claimed that six years later, while she was a guest judge on So You Think You Can Dance, Lythgoe invited her to dinner at his home to talk about the show. She alleges that, toward the end of the dinner, he “forced himself on top of” her and “attempted to kiss her while proclaiming that the two would make an excellent ‘power couple.’”

Lythgoe adamantly denied Abdul’s allegations, calling them “pure fiction.” But four days later, two former contestants on the 2003 ABC Family reality-show All American Girl, which Lythgoe produced, also filed suit accusing Lythgoe of sexual assault, sexual harassment, and negligence. Lythgoe hasn’t yet publicly responded to the subsequent suits. In January, Fox and the production company behind So You Think You Can Dance said Lythgoe would not be involved in the upcoming season of the show, which he co-created. Lythgoe told CNN that he was “voluntarily” stepping back.

Also on Tuesday, Lythgoe submitted documents to the court denying the allegations against him made by Abdul. Per Variety, Lythgoe called Abdul’s claims, “false, despicable, intolerable, and life-changing” and “the worst form of character assassination.” The filing also described Abdul as a “well-documented fabulist, with a long history of telling wild stories that are untethered from reality and are primarily designed to attract attention and make Abdul appear to be the victim of dreadful misfortune.”

The Cut has reached out to representatives for Lythgoe and will update this post if we hear back.

Another Woman Is Suing Nigel Lythgoe for Sexual Assault