Nigel Lythgoe Leaves So You Think You Can Dance Amid Lawsuit


Nigel Lythgoe is bowing out of So You Think You Can Dance.

The executive producer and co-creator of the dance competition announced that he’s voluntarily leaving the show. His departure comes a week after former SYTYCD and American Idol judge Paula Abdul accused him of sexual assault in Dec. 29 lawsuit.

“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,” Lythgoe said in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter Jan. 5. “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.”

The 74-year-old added, “In the meantime, I am dedicating myself to clearing my name and restoring my reputation.”

FOX, Dick Clark Productions and 19 Entertainment confirmed the exit to E! News, saying in a joint statement that “the show remains committed to the contestants” and they have not made a decision on a replacement judge. 

Abdul, 61, accused Lythgoe of assaulting her when they worked together on SYTYCD and American Idol. She alleged in her lawsuit that he groped and kissed her while they were traveling for American Idol’s regional auditions in one of the early seasons. 


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