Police Arrest Woman Outside American Idol Venue
Terri Seymour, Simon Cowell
A woman was arrested outside the filming of the American Idol finale for attacking Simon Cowell's ex-girlfriend, police said.
Police said Janice Thibodeaux was taken into custody outside the Nokia Theater after officers saw her try to choke Terri Seymour, who was working as an Extra correspondent, according to The Hollywood Reporter. After the filming, Thibodeaux asked Seymour if she was Cowell's ex before trying to choke her, and then ran from officers, police said.
Thibodeaux told RadarOnline.com she was trying to make a statement. "I wasn't cool with Simon Cowell choking Paula Abdul on the show last week and with her crying-out 'help' as he did so," Thibodeaux said. "Nobody said anything about that, so I wanted to confront him about it because that is not appropriate behavior, is it?
"We started arguing and then I put my hands around her neck and started choking her just like Simon had done with Paula," Thibodeaux said. "Then I walked away and I was tackled by the police but I don't regret what I did because of what Simon did to Paula."
Seymour told Extra host Mario Lopez: "She came over to me and said, 'You're that girl from TV, right?' And I said, 'Yeah.' ...The next thing I know, this woman had me in a headlock and tried to choke me."
When Seymour yelled and resisted, Thibodeaux ran away, police said.
"The police were fantastic," Seymour said. "They were close by and managed to catch her."
Thibodeaux has been charged with two misdemeanors, including one count of battery and one count of assault, Los Angeles City Attorney spokesman Frank Mateljan told TVGuide.com. Thibodeaux had bail set at $20,000, and is due back in court June 4. Police told RadarOnline there was already a warrant out for her arrest for traffic violations and failure to appear in court.
Cowell had already left the event before the incident.