British TV producer and star Nigel Lythgoe has been accused of sexual assault and battery in a new lawsuit.

The 74-year-old is understood to be facing five lawsuits of a similar nature, including claims from US singer and dancer Paula Abdul, who recently accused Lythgoe of multiple sexual assaults while she appeared as a judge on hit TV shows American Idol and So You Think You Can Dance.

Lythgoe has vehemently denied previous allegations and reportedly alleged that Abdul is a “well-documented fabulist” in a statement seen by US outlets on Tuesday.

Investitures at Windsor Castle
Nigel Lythgoe after receiving an OBE for services to the performing arts, education and charity during an Investiture ceremony at Windsor Castle (Chris Radburn/PA)

In the new lawsuit filed in Los Angeles, Lythgoe is accused of attacking a woman in early spring 2018, “groping her all over” after he had “pinned” her against the wall.

As a result of the alleged incident, the woman was left feeling “horribly violated” and suffered “severe emotional and psychological distress”, as well as “gravely” impacting her marriage, almost resulting in divorce, court documents said.

Lythgoe is facing claims of sexual assault/battery, gender violence, sexual harassment, and intentional infliction of emotional distress in the lawsuit.

After stepping down from So You Think You Can Dance with a “heavy heart” in January, Lythgoe said he was dedicating his time to clearing his name and restoring his reputation.

Melissa Eubanks, senior counsel with Johnson & Johnson, said of the new complaint: “We far too often hear the stories of women who have been punished by superiors for rebuking unwanted sexual advances. Our Jane Doe’s experience with Mr Lythgoe is no different.

“After more than a decade-long professional and cordial relationship, Mr Lythgoe allegedly forced himself upon our client during what was supposed to be a business meeting and then terminated their relationship when she did not acquiesce.

“We hope that stories like this will become a thing of the past, and we continue to be proud to support the women who are finally standing up to say: ‘enough is enough’.”

So You Think You Can Dance
(left to right) Dance judges Nigel Lythgoe, Arlene Phillips, Louise Redknapp and Sisco Gomez on the first live show of the BBC show So You Think You Can Dance (Ian West/PA)

Lythgoe was an executive producer of British talent show Pop Idol and American Idol before co-creating and starring in the US series So You Think You Can Dance, which launched in 2005.

He was also a producer and appeared as a judge on Popstars, earning the nickname “Nasty Nigel” thanks to his cutting remarks to the hopefuls.

The 2001 talent show opened the door to American Idol and The X Factor, forever changing TV on both sides of the Atlantic.

Lythgoe joined the BBC’s The Young Generation dance troupe in 1969 and became a choreographer at 21.

He has since worked on more than 500 TV shows, including Morecambe And Wise, The Two Ronnies and Gladiators, as well as with some of the biggest names in showbiz, such as Gene Kelly and Bing Crosby.

A representative for Lythgoe has been contacted for comment.