Nigel Lythgoe denies Paula Abdul sexual assault allegations in legal response

Television producer Nigel Lythgoe denies allegations of sexual assault and harassment leveled against him by former “American Idol” and “So You Think You Can Dance” judge Paula Abdul. His denial came in a legal response filed Tuesday and obtained by CNN.

Lythgoe called the allegations made in Abdul’s lawsuit, filed in December, “false, despicable, intolerable and transformative,” according to his response, which was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court.

“Abdul is a well-documented fabulist, with a long history of telling crazy stories that are not tied to reality and are designed primarily to attract attention and make Abdul appear to be the victim of a terrible misfortune,” the document said.

The filing also cites excerpts from private emails Abdul allegedly sent to Lythgoe and posts made by her on social media referencing him. Lythgoe’s response characterized them as “adoring messages and comments” expressing “positive feelings toward Lythgoe” during and after the period in which Abdul “alleges the abuse occurred.”

A representative for Lythgoe had no further comment on the filing.

CNN has reached out to Abdul for comment.

In December, Abdul filed a lawsuit against Lythgoe accusing him of sexual assault and harassment, as well as gender-based violence and negligence.

The complaint, which was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court and obtained by CNN at the time, described two separate incidents that Abdul said occurred in the early 2000s and 2015, respectively.

Lythgoe called the allegations “false” and “deeply offensive” in a statement to TMZ at the time.

In January, he announced that he would voluntarily step away from his duties as producer on “So You Think You Can Dance.”

“I am dedicated to clearing my name and restoring my reputation,” he said in a statement to CNN following news of his departure.

Abdul also named 19 Entertainment Inc., FremantleMedia North America Inc., American Idol Productions Inc. and Dance Nation Productions Inc. as co-defendants.

CNN’s request for comment from the companies listed in Abdul’s complaint was not returned at the time.

She seeks unspecified punitive damages.

Abdul’s lawsuit was filed under California’s Sexual Assault and Concealment Accountability Act, which allows claims for “damages suffered as a result of a sexual assault” that occurred outside the statute of limitations to be filed for a period of time.

The Grammy winner served as a judge on “American Idol” for nine seasons starting with its first season and as a judge on “So You Think You Can Dance” for two seasons.

“So You Think You Can Dance” has aired 17 seasons on FOX since 2005. Lythgoe is a co-creator of the franchise and has served as executive producer on the US and UK versions. He served as a judge for 16 seasons.

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