Paula Abdul has ended her seven-year-stint as an American Idol judge.
“With sadness in my heart, I’ve decided not to return to [American Idol].” she wrote on her Twitter account Tuesday night. “I’ll miss nurturing all the new talent, but most of all being a part of a show that I helped from day [one] become an international phenomenon. What I want to say most, is how much I appreciate the undying support and enormous love that you have showered upon me, it has truly been breathtaking, especially over the past month.”
Abdul rejected an eight-figure deal that awarded her a 30 percent raise from her previous salary, an anonymous insider told the Associated Press; her reps were not immediately available for comment.
American Idol officials released a statement to RadarOnline.com that said they were “saddened” of her decision to leave the top-rated talent show.
“While Paula will not be continuing with us,” the show said, “she’s a tremendous talent and we wish her the best.”
The show, which commences auditions for its’ upcoming ninth season this weekend in Denver, returns to prime time in January. Idol averaged a strong 26.3 million viewers per episode this past season.