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Nigel Lythgoe faces 2nd sex assault case days after Paula Abdul's suit

In a new suit, two women who say they were contestants on an all-female competition series in 2003 say Nigel Lythgoe sexually assaulted them.
Nigel Lythgoe faces 2nd sex assault case days after Paula Abdul's suit
Posted at 3:22 PM, Jan 04, 2024

Nigel Lythgoe is facing a second sexual assault lawsuit days after Paula Abdul sued the former "American Idol" and "So You Think You Can Dance" producer based on similar accusations.

Two women, identified only as Jane Doe K.G. and Jane Doe K.N. in court documents, filed the new lawsuit Tuesday against John Roe N.L. — who Deadline and TMZ confirmed is a pseudonym for Lythgoe — and an unnamed production company.

In the suit, the plaintiffs accuse the 74-year-old man of negligence, sexual assault/battery, sexual harassment, gender violence and intentional infliction of emotional distress stemming from their time on the 2003 competition show "All American Girl," in which dozens of women vied to win the title of the series, and on which Lythgoe was a producer.

The women claim Lythgoe would occasionally come on set, and on one occasion, he "openly swatted and groped Plaintiffs' and other contestants' buttocks." They say multiple employees and representatives saw this happen, but it was "openly accepted," according to the lawsuit.

When the show wrapped in May 2003, the plaintiffs say Lythgoe's production company hosted a party, and when it was time to leave, they claim he insisted he would drive them to the studio where everyone else was going. But the women claim he instead took them to a Los Angeles home, where he allegedly made sexual advances on the women despite their rejections.

One Jane Doe claims the producer lifted his sweater over her head, "engulfed her" and attempted to kiss her as she "scrambled to release herself from his grasp." The other alleges he pushed her against a grand piano and "forced his mouth and tongue onto her" despite her numerous attempts to pull away. 

The women say they have suffered and continue to suffer emotional distress, embarrassment, loss of self-esteem, loss of earnings and more as a result of the alleged experience. They state this entitles them to damages in an amount determined by a jury trial.

SEE MORE: Paula Abdul accuses 'American Idol' producer of sexual assault

Four days before the women's lawsuit, Abdul filed hers, claiming Lythgoe sexually assaulted her in the early 2000s while he was a producer and she was a judge on "American Idol," then again when she left the show to judge another Lythgoe-produced show, "So You Think You Can Dance."

The lawsuits have similar claims, and both were filed under California's Sexual Abuse and Cover-up Accountability Act, which opened a one-year window for sexual abuse suits that would've otherwise been barred due to the statute of limitations.

However, the deadline to file was Dec. 31, meaning Abdul made it in time, but the new lawsuit did not. Also, the new lawsuit states one Jane Doe was born in 1997, meaning she was 5 years old at the time of the alleged 2003 assault.

It's unclear how this will affect the ability of the second suit to move on, and Lythgoe hasn't commented on the claims.

He did, however, release a statement regarding Abdul's suit, saying to the AP he was "shocked and saddened" to hear of his "dear" friend's allegations.

"While Paula's history of erratic behavior is well known, I can't pretend to understand exactly why she would file a lawsuit that she must know is untrue," Lythgoe said in the statement. "But I can promise that I will fight this appalling smear with everything I have."

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