Nigel Lythgoe, the producer of “American Idol” and “So You Think You Can Dance”, is facing more legal trouble as two more women have filed a lawsuit against him for sexual assault. The women, who were contestants on his 2003 reality show “All American Girl”, claim that Lythgoe groped them on set and at his home.
They are suing Lythgoe and his production company for sexual assault and battery, sexual harassment, gender violence, intentional infliction of emotional distress and negligence. They are seeking a jury trial.
How Nigel Lythgoe Allegedly Groped Contestants on Set
According to the lawsuit, Lythgoe “walked around the set and dressing rooms and openly swatted and groped [their] and other contestants’ buttocks” when they were wearing dance costumes. The lawsuit also alleges that Lythgoe’s behavior was “openly accepted” by his staff, who did nothing to stop him.
The women claim that Nigel Lythgoe showed “an unusual interest” in one of them at the wrap party and insisted that she ride with him in his car to the studio. The other woman decided to join them to protect her colleague. They allege that Lythgoe took them to his Los Angeles home and made sexual advances on them, which they rejected. The lawsuit describes how Lythgoe tried to kiss them, pushed them against a piano, and lifted his sweater over one of their heads.
The women say they have suffered from “pain, suffering, shock, emotional distress, embarrassment, loss of self-esteem, disgrace, humiliation, loss of enjoyment of life, loss of earnings and earning capacity, and/or have incurred and will continue to incur expenses for medical and psychological treatment, counseling and/or therapy.”
This lawsuit comes days after Paula Abdul, the former judge of “American Idol” and “So You Think You Can Dance”, filed a similar complaint against Nigel Lythgoe. Abdul accused Lythgoe of sexually assaulting her in a hotel elevator and at his home while they were working on the shows. Lythgoe denied Abdul’s allegations and called them “an appalling smear”.
Nigel Lythgoe has not yet responded to the new lawsuit.