Idol Exposé Focuses on Alleged Abdul Affair

Idol Exposé Focuses on Alleged Abdul Affair
Paula Abdul and Corey Clark
Matt Baron/BEImages

updated 05/04/2005 AT 08:00 AM EDT

originally published 05/03/2005 AT 08:00 AM EDT

As the May 24-25 American Idol finale approaches, ABC News's Primetime Live is coming out with allegations from a former contestant who claims to have had an affair with Paula Abdul.

Corey Clark, who was one of the 12 finalists on the reality show's second season, alleges that Abdul initiated a friendship with him that turned sexual. Clark also says that Abdul, one of the three judges on FOX's reality talent competition, provided him with tips on what songs to sing and how to improve his look.

In the Primetime Live report (which airs Wednesday at 10 p.m.), Clark claims the relationship began after one of Abdul's associates slipped him a note with the judge's private phone number on it.

Clark says of his first phone conversation with Abdul: "So she was like, 'You got to have better song choices, and I want to help you do that. I want to look out after you like – like I'm your mom.' And then she was like, "well, more like your sister." And I was like, "Okay, cool, cool"…And then she was like, "Well, maybe more like your special friend."

As for Abdul's alleged help for Clark during the competition, he says she picked out his clothes, songs and arranged for him to get a better haircut. She was "polishing off that dust – off of the dirty diamond and helping me shine a little bit – you know what I mean? Like, 'Yo, check him out now,'" Clark tells ABC.

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Clark, 24, who was ejected from the show in 2003 for failing to disclose a past arrest, is now reportedly peddling a book about his Idol experience.

While FOX has maintained distance from the upcoming exposé, the network released a statement to ABC Tuesday evening. "Disqualified American Idol contestant Corey Clark was removed from the show for failing to disclose his criminal arrest history. Despite documented procedures and multiple opportunities for contestants to raise any concerns they may have, the producers of American Idol, FreemantleMedia, 19 Entertainment and FOX were never notified or contacted by Mr. Clark, nor presented any evidence concerning his claims. We will, of course, look into any evidence of improper conduct that we receive. In the meantime, we recommend that the public carefully examine Mr. Clark’s motives, given his apparent desire to exploit his prior involvement with American Idol for profit and publicity."

The Washington Post reported Tuesday that in exchange for Clark's cooperation, ABC News will play part of Clark's new single. (Clark also reportedly has written a song about his relationship with Abdul.)

Abdul, 42, has refused to dignify the allegations with a comment. Last week, her attorney sent a letter to ABC threatening possible legal action should the special air.

"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," said a statement issued on her behalf by lawyer Martin Singer.

Meanwhile, former Idol contestants who competed against Clark are expressing their surprise over the allegations.

Former contestant Patrick Fortson tells Primetime: "I’m very surprised ... He didn’t deserve to win, because it’s not fair to everybody else who did it on their own."

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