The producer of one of the most popular talent shows in the United States, “American Idol,” Nigel Lythgoe, responded to allegations by Paula Abdul, who accused him of harassment while she was a member of the jury on this show.
In a conversation with TMZ reporters, Nigel called the star's accusations “false” and “insulting,” and also expressed his intention to prove his innocence.
“To say that these allegations shocked and saddened me would be an understatement. For more than two decades, Paula and I communicated as close friends and colleagues, exclusively in a platonic way. Yesterday, quite suddenly, I learned about these statements from the press and I want to make it clear: they are not only false, but also deeply offensive to me. The public is well aware of Paula's erratic behavior, but I don't understand why she would file a lawsuit knowing it was a lie. I promise that I will fight this slander with all my might,” Lythgoe said.
He did not specify what exactly he meant by Paula’s “erratic behavior,” but most likely he was talking about the star’s alleged affair with “American Idol” contestant Corey Clark, which Paula Abdul herself denied.
It is noteworthy that amid the scandal, a 2017 Daily Beast interview with Nigel and Paula surfaced. It talked about the constant bickering on the show between Paula Abdul and Simon Cowell, who was also a member of the judges' panel. “Working with her on 'Idol' all these years and seeing Simon treat her badly and abuse her,” Nigel teased the singer, adding, “I wanted to be the next person to treat her badly.”
Previously, Paula Abdul said that Lythgoe repeatedly harassed her and also complained of discrimination while working on the show.