Simon Cowell's ex-girlfriend 'in fear for her life'

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The Independent Online

Simon Cowell's former girlfriend was granted a temporary restraining order against a woman accused of choking her outside the American Idol finale.

Briton Terri Seymour was left "in fear for her life" after Janice Thibodeaux allegedly tried to choke her outside the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles, where American Idol is produced.

Thibodeaux, 33, was arrested and charged with battery and assault after officers saw the incident involving Seymour, 35, a correspondent on the US entertainment news show Extra.

In legal papers seen by the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Seymour's lawyers said the attack and issues surrounding it have left her "in fear for her life and caused her severe emotional distress".

In other papers obtained by showbiz website, the lawyers added: "(Thibodeaux) attacked (Seymour) from behind, putting her into a headlock, wrenching her neck and choking her with the full force of her 200lb frame."

The lawyers also claim Thibodeaux "has sought publicity for her wrongful act and stated to the media that they were intentional and that she does not regret that".

Seymour fears the woman "will again assault and further harass" her, the lawyers said.

In an interview with, Thibodeaux said she did not regret her actions, which she said were in retaliation for Cowell playfully choking fellow Idol judge Paula Abdul on the show.

"I went up to her to tell her how I felt," she said.

"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."