Woman arrested for choking Simon Cowell’s ex blames his behavior toward Paula Abdul

After the American Idol 8 live performance episode on Tuesday night, a woman attacked Terri Seymour, Simon Cowell’s ex-girlfriend, and was arrested. That woman, Janice Thibodeaux, who’s been arrested for felony battery and is being held on $52,700 bail, says she did it get back at Simon for his behavior during the episode.

From jail, she told Radar,

“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. Nobody said anything about that so I wanted to confront him about it because that is not appropriate behavior, is it? She was taking some photographs with her camera and I knew she was his girlfriend so I went up to her to tell her how I felt. We started arguing and then I put my hands around her neck and started choking her just like Simon had done with Paula. 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, nobody seemed to care about that.”

If that isn’t the most batshit insane thing you’ve read all week, well, you have some scary reading. For one, Terri is Simon’s ex. For two, if you’re mad at something Simon did, why does it make sense to confront the person you think is his girlfriend? Finally, Simon’s behavior may be inappropriate, but he was clearly kidding around. And what grade is this woman in that she thinks the way to deal with that is to duplicate the behavior but in an actually violent way?

Terri’s version of the event, by the way, doesn’t include an argument. Terri told Extra, the show she works for, that the insane woman “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. I yelled out, ‘What are you doing?’ and I lunged at her. She let go and took off running.”

EXCLUSIVE: Attacker of Simon Cowell’s Ex Speaks From Behind Bars [Radar]
Exclusive: Terri Seymour Recounts Assault [Extra]

about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.