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Nigel Lythgoe Responds To Sexual Assault Lawsuit From Paula Abdul

Nigel Lythgoe, the former “American Idol” and “So You Think You Can Dance” producer accused of sexually assaulting Paula Abdul, has responded in new court documents that include purported emails and messages between him and the former “Idol” judge.

The 22-page response was filed Tuesday in Los Angeles County Superior Court, just hours before another woman brought a fourth sexual assault allegation against Lythgoe. The latest suit makes claims similar to Abdul’s, which Lythgoe described as “pure fiction.”

“How do we know?” Lythgoe wrote in the response, per “Entertainment Tonight.” “Abdul’s own words: her private emails and public statements on social media, made time and time again during and after the time she now alleges the abuse occurred, wherein Abdul expressed how she really felt about Lythgoe, her friend and colleague.”

The lengthy response did not include screenshots, or the actual emails themselves. Rather, it included text excerpts of the purported exchanges, in which Abdul allegedly described Lythgoe as a supportive friend and shared personal updates with him.

“Hi sweetheart ― thank you for this lovely ‘gift,’” she allegedly wrote in one email. “It’s perfect and so true to what we’ve been discussing lately. Please forgive me for not calling yesterday ... Haven’t slept since I last saw you ... Forever grateful to have you in my life!”

Abdul did not immediately respond to HuffPost’s request for comment.

The Grammy winner claimed in a December lawsuit that Lythgoe sexually assaulted her — once during the early seasons of “Idol” between 2000 and 2009 and again during Abdul’s tenure on “Dance” between 2013 and 2016 — and that he “verbally insulted and belittled her.”

Lythgoe, who denied those allegations in a statement to “ET” at the time, also shared a May 2009 Twitter post in which Abdul told Lythgoe: “Great seeing you last night. Can’t wait for the next season of SYTYCD!! Have a great day :)”

Nigel Lythgoe was a judge alongside Paula Abdul on
Nigel Lythgoe was a judge alongside Paula Abdul on "So You Think You Can Dance" from 2005 to 2022. Abdul has since sued Lythgoe for alleged sexual assault. FOX/Getty Images

The producer reportedly went on to claim he and Abdul “were long-time friends” who “spent birthdays together” and “celebrated other milestones,” and that Abdul’s accusations “can only be explained as a ploy for long-ago lost relevance and fame.”

While Lythgoe concluded by requesting the court throw Abdul’s lawsuit out, he was accused by two other women in January of sexually assaulting them in 2003. The former “Dance” judge, who exited the series that month, was sued by a fourth woman Tuesday.

In court papers obtained by Deadline, the 74-year-old was accused of sexual assault and battery by a Jane Doe who alleged they were at Lythgoe’s apartment in Los Angeles for a meeting in 2018 when he “started licking” her neck and “touching her genitalia.”

“Once Plaintiff could break free of Lythgoe, she immediately left the property and drove away,” the suit reportedly says. “However, Plaintiff was so shaken by the attack that she had to pull her car over only a block away ... [and] sat in her car shaking and crying.”

Lythgoe did not immediately respond to HuffPost’s request for comment.

Need help? Visit RAINN’s National Sexual Assault Online Hotline or the National Sexual Violence Resource Center’s website.

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