Pop Culture

Simon Cowell's salary dwarfs Paula Abdul's

"American Idol" former executive producer Nigel Lythgoe recently revealed that Simon Cowell is earning $36 million a year from the show.

It’s not news that Cowell makes some serious coin — he’s been ranked in Forbes — but the approximately $22,000 per minute (according to Lythgoe’s calculations) that Cowell earns has fellow "Idol" judge Paula Abdul especially angry. Rumors put Abdul's salary at closer to $5 to $8 million per season.

“Paula knew that Simon was getting paid more, but she never imagined it was this much more,” says a source who works with Abdul. “This could really put her in a bad way.”

If that sounds like it doesn’t bode well for those on the show who must deal with Abdul, well, that’s because it doesn’t.

“She has a lot of concerns with feeling appreciated," says the source. "First, they bring in another judge (Kara DioGuardi) and now it’s ridiculously obvious that she’s getting pennies compared to Simon. If you thought she had reason to run late to the set now, imagine what the future may hold. I kind of feel for the assistants who are going to be made responsible for getting her on set on time. It’s always a challenge, but now? I don’t want to think about it.”

As for why there’s such a salary discrepancy, Lythgoe told an Australian newspaper it’s because “it is believed (Cowell) brings more to the table.”

Dakota Fanning a diva?
File this under the inevitable backlash category: child star Dakota Fanning is being branded a diva by Rowan Woods, the director of her upcoming film, “Winged Creatures.”

“She initially refused to come out of her trailer on day one of shooting because her scene wasn’t filmed first,” Woods told Live News. “She is a gorgeous girl … but she was a disaster,” he said. “Most of our work was cutting her scenes and a lot of her scenes were cut.”

Jennifer Lopez shifts focus to family Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony hit Las Vegas last weekend — they renewed their vows, caught the new Criss Angel show, and swung by The Bank Nightclub with Lopez’s mom, Guadalupe.

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It might not sound like the most kid-friendly of nights for the new parents, but don’t let one night in Vegas fool you.

Lopez sat down with Capitol File magazine and said that her days of being only interested in her career are over, that she’s more focused on twins Max and Emme.

“I’ve been so focused on my career for most of my adult life (but now) the world is a different place for me," the singer says. "Now, it’s about my children.”

Celebrity Sightings Howard Stern and Beth Ostrosky made their first appearance as a married couple at the Oct. 10 Prince concert at New York's Hotel Gansevoort. Dave Chappelle was also at the Inocente Tequila-sponsored event. Chappelle even got up on stage at one point and played tambourine. ... Grey Goose entertainment hosted an event to celebrate the fourth season of “Iconoclasts” on the Sundance Channel on Oct. 7 at Kiss & Fly in NYC. Sir Richard Branson, Clive Davis, Tony Hawk and Wyclef Jean, who are all highlighted as Iconoclasts on the show this season, were on hand, as was Cee-Lo of Gnarls Barkley, Rachael Ray, Damon Dash and Penn Badgley. ... In L.A., James Woods and Hayden Panettiere were spotted at Katana on Oct. 10. No, not a date, the two were there with a large group of friends. Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel were spotted at the Oct. 10 Kings of Leon concert at The Joint in the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. The couple arrived after dinner at Nobu and was spotted “cuddling” during the entire show, according to an onlooker. Paul Walker was also spotted at the show. ... Gym Class Heroes frontman Travis McCoy picked up a $12,000 diamond Haimov watch on Oct. 10 at Haimov Jewelry in Miami Beach.

Courtney Hazlett delivers the Scoop Monday through Friday on msnbc.com.

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