View Full Version : Paula Abdul under investigation in Fox 'Idol' probe

29-07-05, 16:49
By Sarah Hall

The countdown is on to determine whether Paula Abdul will keep her job as an American Idol judge.

Fox and the producers of the talent search have launched an investigation into former Idol contestant Corey Clark's claims that he carried on an affair with Abdul before he was booted off the second season of the show.

But if the independent counsel hired to conduct the probe does not complete the task by Aug. 18 when auditions for the fifth season commence, Abdul will be permitted to take her seat between her fellow judges Randy Jackson and Simon Cowell, Fox Entertainment President Peter Liguori said Thursday at the Television Critics Association press tour.

Liguori said that both Clark and Abdul have already been interviewed regarding Clark's allegations.

He said that Abdul had denied some of Clark's claims, but declined to go into details.

"Some allegations were denied," Liguori said. "I don't want to get into the guts of it."

He said that until the independent counsel reaches a final decision, he sees no reason that Abdul shouldn't continue clocking in on the Idol set as usual.

"The audience loves Paula. She continues to get online support," Liguori said. "Her supporters light up our switchboard. We have nothing right now that says she shouldn't report for work."

However, Liguori stressed that the network was taking the investigation into its highest rated show very seriously.

"The credibility of that competition is important to us and we will do everything to maintain the integrity of the show," he said.

Clark, who faded into obscurity following his Idol elimination, resurfaced in April 2005 to expose his allegations against Abdul.

He was the subject of an ABC Primetime Live report titled Fallen Idol, in which he claimed that Abdul had coached him on song choices and given him money to buy expensive clothes. Ultimately, he said, the two became lovers.

Abdul has denounced Clark as a "liar" and refused to dignify his "false statements" with a response.

Shortly after his Primetime expose, Clark released a self-titled album and a tell-all book titled They Told Me to Tell the Truth, So...(The Sex, Lies, and Paulatics of One of America's Idols).

At the time, Fox and the producers of Idol claimed to have "concerns about the motives" of the ABC special. On Thursday, Liguori said he had watched the report and considered the reporting "thin."

"It was suspicious it was done during sweeps when the Idol finals were coming up," he said.

Should the evidence revealed by the probe work against Abdul, the former Laker Girl already has another gig in the works.

Abdul has been tapped as a roving correspondent on Fox's new reality series, So You Think You Can Dance, the network's apparent answer to ABC's Dancing with the Stars.

The "Forever Your Girl" singer's duties consist of traveling the country to "teach large groups of real people how to find their groove thing and really shake it."

Though Abdul's air date has not yet been announced, Dance has already proven to have moves.

Last week's premiere of the groove contest drew 10.3 million viewers, landing it a third-place finish in the ratings.