Fox Keeps Abdul on ‘Idol’

Aug 12, 2005  •  Post A Comment

Paula Abdul is keeping her “American Idol” gig.

Fox Broadcasting and producers of the hit musical reality series “American Idol” announced Friday they had completed their investigation into claims made by former contestant Corey Clark that Ms. Abdul had an inappropriate sexual relationship with him and offered him strategic advice on how to move forward in the competition.

The inquiry, which was jointly conducted by a partner at the law firm of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher and a former federal prosecutor at the law firm Morrison & Foerster, concluded that there was no evidence or witnesses to prove a sexual relationship existed between Ms. Abdul and Mr. Clark. The inquiry also concluded there was no evidence Ms. Abdul offered Mr. Clark special assistance during the competition. As part of the inquiry Ms. Abdul did acknowledge she had telephone conversations with Mr. Clark while he was a contestant, but she denied she offered Mr. Clark any special assistance during their conversations.

“We are confident none of these communications had any impact on the outcome of the competition,” Fox, FremantleMedia North America and 19 Entertainment said in the written release. “Paula Abdul, therefore, can continue as a judge on ‘American Idol.'”

“I’m grateful this ordeal is over, Ms. Abdul said in a separate statement, “and I’m so looking forward to getting back to the job I love. Once again, I thank my fans from throughout the world for their undying love and support.”

According to the release, the investigation required 600 hours of legal work, lasted for three and a half months and included interviews with 43 people, including Ms. Abdul and Mr. Clark.

In May, ABC ran an hour-long interview with Mr. Clark on its newsmagazine “Primetime Live” in which he said Ms. Abdul engaged in a sexual relationship with him and guided him during his time on the show.

Fox Entertainment President Peter Liguori was peppered with questions about the inquiry at the Television Critics Association summer press tour in July.

Auditions for the next season of “Idol” begin Aug. 18 in San Francisco.