Former 'Idol' Contestants Say Clark Out for Revenge, Fame
May 3, 2005

A "Primetime Live" investigation is threatening to shake up one of America's hottest shows. On Wednesday, ABC will air an expose of "Idol," including, sources say, recorded phone messages between judge Paula Abdul and contestant Corey Clark that could be damaging to Abdul's reputation.

Now, "Extra" has the inside details on the controversy that's rocking FOX and Paula, from three former "American Idol" contestants.

Hadas Shalev was one of the top 30 finalists during Season Two of the hit show, the same season that has sparked rumors that Paula flirted with, and even bedded, Clark.

When asked if Abdul gave Clark, or any contestant, special treatment, Shalev revealed, "She'll compliment everybody. I know that Paula liked flirting with all of the boys, and all of the boys liked flirting with Paula. I didn't see anything different relative to him and other contestants."

"[Clark] did flirt a lot," Shalev added. "He flirted a lot with Paula. I thought it was maybe just his thing to flirt with Paula, just part of his act."

Paula is still refusing to dignify the allegations with a comment, but today, Julie DeMato, another season two contestant, opened up to "Extra."

"Paula was very, very sweet...more than the others two judges," DeMato remembered. "She connected with usÖshe cared."

As for Paula's possible connection with Corey, DeMato noted that, "He knew details of her house and what it looked like."

But while Clark asked DeMato to participate in a new book with him, she told us she has a problem believing his allegations. "I think Corey is doing it partly for revenge," she speculated. "I think he had a lot to say and he feels bullied against."

"Nothing that I saw would make me think they had a relationship," DeMato added.

We also spoke with fellow second season "Idol" hopeful and aspiring country artist Carmen Rasmussen. She remembered Clark delivering Paula a rose after a performance, and event Shalev also recalled.

"Corey Clark is the kind of guy who would do anything for fame," Rasmussen insisted to us. "I definitely think it's a publicity stunt. I did see Corey Clark being inappropriate with other women on the show, but it was not Paula."

Rasmussen also added, "I never spent any alone time with any of the judges, and I don't think anyone else did either."

Clark will get to tell his side of the story on "Primetime Live," and these "Idols" agreed that the consequences could be critical. "I don't see how she could stay on the show if it is true," Rasmussen insisted.

See how the drama unfolds Wednesday night after "American Idol" on ABC.


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