Abdul Sets The Record Sort Of Straight

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Just hours before the season premiere of American Idol, Paula Abdul said at a press conference that she was misquoted. Turns out, despite a flood of quotes and published reports, she never criticized producers of the show or intended to leave.

“I am a big fan of the show,” she said yesterday. “I am blessed to be on the show. It’s the greatest show on television all around the world and … a gazillion people would love to be in my shoes.”

Okay. But in December, she told Barbara Walters that network execs and the show’s producers knew that failed contestant Paula Goodspeed had stalked her but still let her audition “for entertainment value.”

The woman killed herself by Abdul’s Los Angeles home in November.

Abdul now tells reporters she never, ever said “anything disparaging about American Idol at all.”

But, one reporter pressed, didn’t you complain to the producers?

“Well, that is true,” Abdul backpedaled. “But that’s that. I can’t talk about it anymore. It’s an ongoing police investigation.”

Ah. The law according to Abdul.

“The truth is, we did know she was an extreme fan of Paula’s,” series executive producer Cecile Frot-Coutaz added. “But from being a big fan to what happened, there’s a big difference. And nobody could have known that it would actually happen.”

Fox Entertainment president Kevin Reilly piped in too: “Paula’s an integral part of the show. As far as we’re concerned, we want to have her as long as the show goes. When we get into those discussions, we’ll see where Paula’s head is at.”

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