Nigel Lythgoe denied Paula Abdul’s allegations that he sexually assaulted her, a day after she filed a lawsuit against him.
The former American Idol executive producer, 74, issued a statement, via TMZ on Saturday, to refute the allegations he claims are “false” and “deeply offensive.” He also announced his plans to prove his innocence in court.
“To say that I am shocked and saddened by the allegations made against me by Paula Abdul is a wild understatement,” he said in the statement. “For more than two decades, Paula and I have interacted as dear — and entirely platonic — friends and colleagues.”
He continued, “Yesterday, however, out of the blue, I learned of these claims in the press and I want to be clear: not only are they false, they are deeply offensive to me and to everything I stand for.”
He concluded, “While Paula’s history of erratic behaviour is well known, I can’t pretend to understand exactly why she would file a lawsuit that she must know is untrue. But I can promise that I will fight this appalling smear with everything I have.”
Abdul filed her lawsuit against Lythgoe on Friday, alleging that she was sexually assaulted by him on two different occasions.
One of the incidents cited was one in an elevator during an early season of American Idol, where Abdul served as a judge for eight seasons from 2002 to 2009.
Abdul claims a second incident happened while she worked alongside him as a judge on So You Think You Can Dance between 2015 and 2016.