Paula Abdul is taking pre-emptive measures to squash a controversy sparked by an upcoming ABC special on “American Idol.”
Though the exact nature of the “Primetime Live” special, “Fallen Idol,” remains unknown, ABC has said it will “explore explosive claims about behind-the-scenes activities” at the Fox talent contest.
Reports have speculated that it will hinge on Corey Clark, a contestant who was dropped from the show in 2003 after producers learned about a past arrest. He is reportedly trying to sell a tell-all book about his experiences with the program, including an alleged affair with Abdul, one of the three judges on the show.
On Tuesday, a spokesperson for Abdul released a statement to syndicated entertainment show “Access Hollywood”:
“Paula Abdul will not dignify the false statements made by Corey Clark with a response. Mr. Clark is an admitted liar and opportunist who engages in unlawful activities. He is communicating lies about Paula Abdul in order to generate interest in a book deal.”
Further, the Los Angeles Times reported Wednesday that Abdul's lawyer, Marty Singer, has sent a letter to ABC threatening legal action if the network airs the special.
Simon Cowell, the show's more critical judge, defended Abdul on the syndicated entertainment show “Extra” Tuesday.
“Paula, to be fair to her, will spend more time backstage with the contestants giving encouragement. But that's not a bad thing,” Cowell said. “I think (the accusations) are rubbish. I think this is a guy who's out there to publish a book.”
The third judge, Randy Jackson, and host Ryan Seacrest also appeared on programs Tuesday to defend Abdul and “American Idol.”
Efforts by The Associated Press to reach Clark have been unsuccessful.
Clark was booted from the show for not disclosing that he was facing assault charges for allegedly assaulting his teenage sister and resisting arrest. He later pleaded no contest to a lesser charge of obstructing the legal process.
The hourlong “Primetime Live” report by anchor John Quinones is scheduled May 4 (10 p.m. ET).
No mention was made of the ABC special on Tuesday night's episode.
One of the remaining six contestants was to be eliminated Wednesday night.