Art & Entertainment

Nigel Lythgoe Steps Down As 'So You Think You Can Dance' Judge After Paula Abdul's Sexual Assault Allegations

Amidst multiple sexual assault allegations, including one from former 'American Idol' judge Paula Abdul, Nigel Lythgoe has stepped down as a judge on the reality show 'So You Think You Can Dance'. 

Advertisement

Nigel Lythgoe
info_icon

Nigel Lythgoe, executive producer of 'American Idol' and creator of 'So You Think You Can Dance', recently landed into controversy after renowned singer and former 'American Idol' judge Paula Abdul filed a lawsuit against him, alleging sexual assault. Not only this, he faced another lawsuit for sexual assault and harassing contestants. Amidst the allegations, Nigel has stepped down as a judge on the reality show 'So You Think You Can Dance'. 

As per a report in ABC, Lythgoe, 74, said in a statement, "I have informed the producers of 'So You Think You Can Dance' of my decision to step back from participating in this year's series''.

Advertisement

"I did so with a heavy heart but entirely voluntarily because this great program has always been about dance and dancers, and that's where its focus needs to remain,'' he said further. 

The TV producer added, "In the meantime, I am dedicating myself to clearing my name and restoring my reputation."

Lythgoe has been a producer of several reality shows in both the UK and the US. He is also co-creator and executive producer of the Fox dance competition series, whose Season 18 is starting in March.

Meanwhile, as per a report in Variety, Sony Pictures Television's 19 Entertainment, the co-producer of 'So You Think You Can Dance', has started an investigation into Nigel Lythgoe's alleged actions. 

Advertisement

Paula Abdul, in her lawsuit that she filed on December 30, claimed that Lythgoe sexually assaulted her during the auditions of one of the seasons of 'American Idol', which premiered in 2002. The lawsuit claimed that Lythgoe allegedly pushed Abdul against the wall in a hotel elevator, forcibly touched her private parts and breasts and also tried to kiss her. 

The lawsuit also revealed that the singer faced verbal insults and belittlement from the TV producer during a meeting. She even alleged getting less paid than her male counterparts and was bullied by Lythgoe and the show's production.

She also stated that years later, Lythgoe assaulted her again after she had signed a contract to judge 'So You Think You Can Dance'. He again tried to kiss her and suggested they would make an "excellent power couple." 

Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement