Nigel Lythgoe Sued for Sexual Assault by ‘All American Girl’ Contestants

The reality TV mogul was also sued Friday by former “American Idol” judge Paula Abdul

Nigel Lythgoe attends a ceremony honoring him with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2021
Nigel Lythgoe attends a ceremony honoring him with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2021 (Credit: Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

“American Idol” and “So You Think You Can Dance” producer Nigel Lythgoe was hit with a second sexual assault lawsuit on Tuesday. Following one filed by Paula Abdul on Friday, two former contestants of the 2003 talent competition “All American Girl” have also sued the British-born producer for sexual assault and battery and sexual harassment.

The suit states that during the filming of the series, which took place between January and May of that year, Lythgoe would visit their dressing rooms where he “openly swatted and groped the contestants buttocks.”

He is also accused of taking both of the women to his home in Los Angeles after the show’s finales, where he made unwanted advances.

Representatives for Lythgoe did not immediately respond on Tuesday to requests for comment on the “All American Girl” suit. An automatic email response from the office of Lythgoe’s attorney said they are closed until Jan. 4.

In statement to TheWrap last week, Lythgoe denied Abdul’s allegations and said they are “deeply offensive to [him] and to everything [he] stands for.”

“To say that I am shocked and saddened by the allegations made against me by Paula Abdul is a wild understatement,” Lythgoe’s statement about the Abdul suit read. “For more than two decades, Paula and I have interacted as dear – and entirely platonic – friends and colleagues.”

The statement went on to mention Abdul’s “history of erratic behavior ” and that he will “fight this appalling smear with everything I have.”

The unnamed plaintiffs for Tuesday’s lawsuit cited California’s Sexual Abuse and Cover Up Accountability Act, as did Abdul. The act, like the one in New York that has led to a flurry of sexual assault suits from years past, allows victims to file suits that would not be possible with the current statute of limitations in both states.

The Jane Does have requested a jury trial and are seeking “appropriate statutory damages,” although the suit states that they were both over 18 at the time of the alleged assault. They also ask for “appropriate punitive or exemplary damages” and “special damages” for emotional distress and lost wages.

“All American Girl” was a talent competition similar to “America’s Got Talent” show, but it was only open to female contestants.

TMZ first reported this story.

Pamela Chelin contributed to this report.


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