Nigel Lythgoe said he ‘wanted to be the next person to abuse’ Paula Abdul before sexual assault lawsuit

Producer Nigel Lythgoe joked that he wanted to be the “next person to abuse” Paula Abdul in a past interview that resurfaced hours after Page Six confirmed the dancer is suing him for sexual assault.

He made the comment while he and Abdul were talking about her and Simon Cowell’s constant bickering on “American Idol” during a 2017 interview with Daily Beast.

“To be able to work with her on ‘Idol’ for all those years and see how she was mistreated by Simon … so abused and mistreated,” he teased.

“I wanted to be the next person to abuse her.”

Abdul, 61, filed her suit against Lythgoe, with whom she worked on “American Idol” and “So You Think You Can Dance,” in Los Angeles Friday and detailed two instances in which he allegedly sexually assaulted her.

“I wanted to be the next person to abuse her,” he told the Daily Beast while being interviewed alongside Abdul. FOX Image Collection via Getty Images

During the first occurrence, Lythgoe, now 74, allegedly “shoved Abdul against the wall, then grabbed her genitals and breasts, and began shoving his tongue down her throat,” the court documents, obtained by Page Six, read.


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Lythgoe and Abdul worked together for years on “American Idol” and for a shorter period on “So You Think You Can Dance.” REUTERS

Abdul said she tried to push him away and exited the elevator as soon as the door opened.

The second alleged incident occurred while they worked on “So You Think You Can Dance,” during which the “Straight Up” singer served as a judge between 2015 and 2016.

She claimed the British director invited her to his residence for what she thought was a “professional” dinner.

Abdul sued him for sexual assault in Los Angeles on Friday. PressPhotoBank / Splash News
She accused him of attacking her two separate times in court documents obtained by Page Six. Getty Images

However, she alleged that at the end of the night, “Lythgoe forced himself on top of [her] while she was seated on his couch and attempted to kiss her while proclaiming that the two would make an excellent ‘power couple.’”

The lawsuit further says “Abdul pushed Lythgoe off of her, explaining that she was not interested in his advances and immediately left.”

The Grammy winner also claimed she saw her former colleague sexually assault an assistant.

The “Opposites Attract” singer said she never reported the incidents because she was scared of facing backlash in the industry. Getty Images

Abdul said she never reported the incidents because she was scared of retaliation.

“Ms. Abdul should be commended for the immense courage required to take action against the type of abuse that was inflicted upon her, particularly when the alleged abuser is a figure so dominant in her profession,” Abdul’s lawyer — managing partner Douglas L. Johnson of Johnson & Johnson LLP — said in a statement to Page Six Saturday.

“It was clearly a difficult decision to make, but Ms. Abdul knows that she stands both in the shoes and on the shoulders of many other similarly situated survivors, and she is determined to see that justice is done.”