Exclusive: Terri Seymour Recounts Assault

Terri Seymour

Only "Extra" has a first hand account of Terri Seymour's frightening encounter with a crazed stranger after last night's "American Idol" taping.

Terri, an "Extra" correspondent and Simon Cowell's ex, sits down with Mario Lopez to detail exactly what happened when a woman suddenly attacked her, attempted to choke her -- and how she escaped. "It was all so sudden... very scary. Nothing like this has ever happened to me before."

Seymour had just finished covering the "Idol" finale when someone came up and violently grabbed her neck from behind. She tells Lopez that while standing outside the Nokia Theater along with "Extra" producer David Geha, her assistant and friend, a 33-year-old, 200-pound woman approached her. Seymour says, "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."

As the woman grabbed Seymour, Geha came to her defense. "I yelled out, 'What are you doing?' and I lunged at her. She let go and took off running."

Luckily, the area outside of the "Idol" stage had plenty of police officers. Seymour says, "The police were fantastic. They were close by and managed to catch her." The suspect was arrested and booked on a felony battery charge, and is being held on $52,000 bail.

Cowell had already left the theater when the incident took place.