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NEW DETAILS: Paula Abdul Quits American Idol

Aug. 5 2009, Published 3:04 p.m. ET

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Paula Abdul has ended her seven-year-stint as an American Idol judge.

Ryan Seacrest reacts to Paula leaving American Idol

"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."

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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 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."

Paula Abdul

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.



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