Nigel Lithgow steps down as ‘So You Think You Can Dance’ judge after sexual harassment allegations


LOS ANGELES (AP) — TV producer Nigel Lithgow said Friday he is stepping down as a judge on “So You Think You Can Dance” following lawsuits accusing him of sexual harassment. One from Paula Abdul,

Lithgow is also the co-creator and executive producer of the Fox dance competition series, whose 18th season is set to debut in March.

“I have informed the producers of ‘So You Think You Can Dance’ of my decision to withdraw from taking part in this year’s series,” Lithgow said in a statement. “I do so with a heavy heart but with full confidence that Kind of volunteered because it’s a great program. It has always been about the dance and the dancers, and that’s where the focus needs to remain. In the meantime, I am dedicating myself to clearing my name and restoring my reputation.

English-born Lithgow, 74, has been a prominent TV producer in both the UK and US for decades, working on reality competition shows including “American Idol.”

Singer and dancer Abdul alleges in a lawsuit filed Dec. 30 that Lithgow assaulted her twice — first in the early 2000s when she was an “American Idol” judge and again nearly a decade later when she was on “So Was a judge in “You Think You”. Can Dance”, which he left after two seasons.

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Lithgow called the allegations a “terrible stain” that he intends to fight.

The Associated Press generally does not identify people who say they are victims of sexual assault unless they come forward publicly, as Abdul has.

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