Is Nigel Lythgoe stepping down as judge from So You Think You Can Dance? Here's what he had to say

Nigel Lythgoe, the long-time judge on So You Think You Can Dance, steps down amid sexual assault allegations, emphasizing that he needs to clear his image amid rising accusations against him.

Published on Jan 06, 2024  |  10:28 PM IST |  62.8K
IMDb
Nigel Lythgoe (IMDb)

Trigger Warning: This article includes references to sexual abuse

In a shocking turn of events, Nigel Lythgoe, the prominent television producer and long-standing judge on the dancing competition So You Think You Can Dance, has announced his voluntary withdrawal from the upcoming season of the hit dance show. Lythgoe's decision comes in the wake of recent sexual assault allegations against him, bringing uncertainty to his future.

Nigel Lythgoe will no longer be seen as So You Think You Can Dance judge

Nigel Lythgoe, 74, shared with Variety his heartfelt decision to step back from participating in the upcoming season of So You Think You Can Dance. Citing a desire to keep the show's focus on dance and dancers, Lythgoe expressed his dedication to clearing his name and restoring his reputation. The decision, made voluntarily, underscores his commitment to the essence of the program, which has been a platform for talented dancers for many seasons.

"I have informed the producers of So You Think You Can Dance of my decision to step back from participating in this year's series. I did so with a heavy heart but entirely voluntarily because this great program has always been about dance and dancers, and that's where its focus needs to remain. In the meantime, I am dedicating myself to clearing my name and restoring my reputation," he stated. 

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ALSO READ: Why is Paula Abdul suing American Idol executive Nigel Lythgoe? Exploring the case

Paula Abdul charges sexual allegations against Nigel Lythgoe 

The announcement of Lythgoe's withdrawal is coupled with serious sexual assault allegations made by Paula Abdul, a renowned figure in the entertainment industry. Abdul, 61, accused Lythgoe of assaulting her on two occasions, once during their tenure on American Idol in the early 2000s and again in 2015 during their collaboration on So You Think You Can Dance. The lawsuit is filed under the Sexual Abuse and Cover Up Accountability Act and encompasses charges of sexual assault and negligence.

Nigel Lythgoe denies any claims of sexual harassment 

Responding promptly to Paula Abdul's allegations, Nigel Lythgoe vehemently denied all charges. In a statement given to TMZ, he expressed shock and sadness at the accusations, emphasizing that he and Abdul had maintained a dear and entirely platonic friendship for over two decades. Lythgoe asserted that the allegations were not only false but deeply offensive. 

He shared, "To say that I am shocked and saddened by the allegations made against me by Paula Abdul is a wild understatement. For more than two decades, Paula and I have interacted as dear -- and entirely platonic -- friends and colleagues. 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."

So You Think You Can Dance (2005) ( Imdb )

The renowned producer-director concluded, stating, "While Paula's history of erratic behavior 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."

Since Paula Abdul's accusations, more individuals have come forward with fresh allegations against Nigel Lythgoe. On January 2, two contestants from the 2003 all-female reality show All American Girl filed a lawsuit, accusing Lythgoe of sexual assault. 

Nigel Lythgoe's decision to step down from So You Think You Can Dance marks a significant moment in the show's history, leaving fans and industry insiders speculating about the future. The severe nature of the sexual assault allegations by Paula Abdul, coupled with the emergence of new accusers, has cast a shadow over Lythgoe's image and career. 

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Disclaimer: If you need support or know someone who is struggling with domestic violence or assault or abuse, please reach out to your nearest mental health specialist, NGO or speak to someone about it. There are several helplines available for the sam.

ALSO READ: Who is Paula Abdul? Exploring her life and career as she sues American Idol Executive

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FAQs

Is Nigel Lythgoe a dancer?
Yes, Nigel Lythgoe started tap dancing at 11 and later trained in various dance forms. He's known for dancing, choreographing, directing, and producing the Royal Variety Performance.

Is Nigel Lythgoe the producer of So You Think You Can Dance?
Nigel Lythgoe is the co-creator and executive producer of the So You Think You Can Dance franchise in the U.S. and U.K. for their entire runs.

Is Nigel Lythgoe married?
Nigel Lythgoe was married to Bonnie Lythgoe from 1974 to 2010.

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Vivek Kumar
Vivek Kumar
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Vivek Kumar is a young, enthusiastic writer with a natural talent for expressing his thoughts through writing. Currently

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