Nigel Lythgoe steps down as 'So You Think You Can Dance Judge' amid sexual assault allegations

    The choice follows sexual assault allegations made by Paula Abdul against the veteran judge during their tenures on 'SYTYCD' and 'American Idol.'

    Nigel Lythgoe (Source: TVline)

    Nigel Lythgoe (Source: TVline)

    Nigel Lythgoe has decided not to continue as a judge on the upcoming season of So You Think You Can Dance. The 74-year-old television producer shared with Variety on Friday that he is voluntarily stepping back from the long-running series. In his statement, he expressed his decision with a heavy heart, emphasizing that the show's primary focus should remain on dance and dancers. Lythgoe also stated his dedication to clearing his name and restoring his reputation during this time.

    Commitment to Contestants

    In a collective statement 19 Entertainment, Dick Clark Productions, FOX, and the production companies and network associated with So You Think You Can Dance announced that Nigel Lythgoe will no longer be part of the judging panel on the competitive dance series due to recent sexual assault allegations.

    So You Think You Can Dance (Source: Fox News)

    “19 Entertainment, Dick Clark Productions, and FOX confirm the upcoming season of So You Think You Can Dance will proceed without Nigel Lythgoe to maintain the show's dedication to the contestants who have put in tremendous effort for the chance to compete on our stage," they stated. "A decision regarding a replacement judge for this season, set to premiere on FOX on Monday, March 4th, is yet to be determined.”

    Paula Abdul Alleges Sexual Assault

    On December 30, Paula Abdul, aged 61, leveled accusations against the longtime dance judge, alleging sexual assault on two occasions during their collaborations on American Idol in the early 2000s and SYTYCD in 2015. Outlined in her lawsuit, filed under the Sexual Abuse and Cover Up Accountability Act permitting civil sexual assault suits even when the statute of limitations has lapsed, Abdul is suing the defendants for charges including sexual assault/battery, sexual harassment, gender violence, and negligence.

    Paula Abdul (Source: People)

    Subsequent to Paula Abdul's allegations, additional individuals have stepped forward with fresh claims. On January 2, two contestants from the 2003 all-female reality show All American Girl filed a lawsuit against Lythgoe, asserting charges of negligence, sexual assault/battery, sexual harassment, gender violence, and intentional infliction of emotional distress.