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Paula Abdul calls Nigel Lythgoe's response to her sexual assault allegations 'classic victim shaming'

"These are the defenses that many women… had to adopt to deal with men who abuse their power," reps for the singer said.

Paula Abdul is firing back at Nigel Lythgoe.

The singer and reality TV judge, who accused the TV producer of sexually assaulting her when she worked on his shows, American Idol and So You Think You Can Dance, in a December lawsuit, denounced Lythgoe’s response to her allegations, in which he called them "pure fiction."

“Mr. Lythgoe’s answer to Ms. Abdul’s complaint is classic victim shaming,” reads a statement from Abdul’s lawyers obtained by EW. “Mr. Lythgoe fails to appreciate that he held a position of power over Ms. Abdul. He was a producer on American Idol and SYTYCD and she was the talent. He held the cards to her career in his hand and he knew it. It thus is no surprise that Ms. Abdul placated to his ego with positive messaging and seeming adoration. These are the defenses that many women like Ms. Abdul had to adopt to deal with men who abuse their power.”

Reps for Lythgoe did not immediately respond to EW’s request for comment.

<p>Gregg Deguire/Variety via Getty; Rodin Eckenroth/Getty</p> Paula Abdul and Nigel Lythgoe

Gregg Deguire/Variety via Getty; Rodin Eckenroth/Getty

Paula Abdul and Nigel Lythgoe

On Tuesday, Lythgoe’s attorneys filed a response that denied Abdul’s allegations, calling them "despicable, intolerable and life-changing,” per PEOPLE. "Lythgoe did not harass, bully, or sexually abuse Abdul," the document says, calling her claims "pure fiction" and the "worst form of character assassination.” Lythgoe’s response also cites examples of Abdul publicly and privately speaking kindly about the former American Idol producer, in which she told him "I love your guts!!!" and said she was "forever grateful" for their friendship.

Abdul’s reps attempted to discredit Lythgoe’s claims in their response. “While Mr. Lythgoe’s answer cherry-picks from years of messages with Ms. Abdul to try to discredit her claims, what his selections fail to show are the numerous instances of overt sexual harassment he forced Ms. Abdul to tolerate,” the statement reads. “On March 8, 2014, Mr. Lythgoe wrote to Ms. Abdul: ‘When you get back to LA will you please make love to me! Slowly and lovingly!’ When Ms. Abdul failed to respond, Mr. Lythgoe proclaimed: ‘I’ll take that as a YES then!’” The statement goes on to outline other explicit messages from Lythgoe.

Lythgoe stepped down from judging duties on So You Think You Can Dance’s 18th season in January after two anonymous women filed another sexual assault lawsuit. An additional lawsuit was filed by another woman in February, and a fourth lawsuit was filed Tuesday, making for a total of five women formally accusing Lythgoe of sexual assault and/or battery.

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