From Romances to Pills, Paula Rumors Rock 'Idol'
April 25, 2005

"American Idol" lures nearly 30 million people to FOX each week, but now, a rival network, ABC, is setting its sights on the show, opening a "Primetime Live" investigation into charges of improper conduct between "Idol" judges and contestants.

In a new book proposal, Season Two singer Corey Clark reportedly claims he had an affair with Paula Abdul in her guest house and even got his cell phone bills paid by the judge so they could secretly talk. Clark ended up getting booted off the show for having a criminal record but he claims Paula promised to spend $2 million to fund a recording career for him.

Paula denies Clark's accusations, and her "Idol" judges are coming to her defense -- but "Idol" producers may have reason to be nervous if claims being made by the former contestant reported in The Globe turn out to be true.

"There's no underhandedness going on behind the scenes," Simon told us. "Paula, to be fair to her, will spend more time backstage with the contestants giving encouragement. But that's not a bad thing. I think [the accusations] are rubbish. I think this is a guy who's out there to publish a book."

But will Paula's recent admission that she was prescribed multiple painkillers fuel speculation that it impaired her judgment? Host Ryan Seacrest came straight to our studio to answer that. "I've never seen her take a pill," he said. "She's never told us anything that has come out in the magazines, but we hope she's back on track."

One thing's for sure, with sizzling ratings and the finals just weeks away, America's number one show is definitely the talk of the town.

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