Former Simon Cowell squeeze and Extra correspondent Terri Seymour was attacked outside the Nokia Theatre last night, apparently targeted because of her association with the Idol judge, police tell E! News.
According to a spokesman for the Los Angeles Police Department, officers on hand for crowd control witnessed the incident, which took place around 7 p.m. As Seymour was leaving the venue, she was approached by 33-year-old Janice Thibodeaux, who asked if Seymour was Cowell's ex-girlfriend.
After Seymour answered in the affirmative, police say Thibodeaux—who later claimed she was acting in the name of justice for one Paula Abdul—attacked Seymour, grabbing her neck and attempting to choke her.
"It was all so sudden," Seymour told Extra. "Very scary. Nothing like this has ever happened to me before."
Seymour said she had just wrapped up her coverage of Idol when Thibodeaux, a 200-pound woman, violently grabbed her from behind.
"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."
Officers quickly reacted, taking the woman into custody and booking her on felony battery.
"The police were fantastic," Seymour said. "They were close by and managed to catch her."
Thibodeaux, who claims she had a ticket to be in the audience last night but instead opted to confront Seymour over a perceived slight she felt Abdul suffered at the hands of Cowell, is being held on $52,703 bail.
"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, 33, told RadarOnline.com after she was locked up. "Nobody said anything about that so I wanted to confront him about it because that is not appropriate behavior, is it?"
So she decided to make an example out of Seymour.
"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."
Seymour, 34, refused medical treatment after the incident.
(Originally published on May 20, 2009 at 8:05 a.m. PT)