"FALLEN IDOL" -- A SPECIAL EDITION OF "PRIMETIME LIVE": A FORMER CONTESTANT ALLEGES BEHIND-THE-SCENES ASSISTANCE FROM AND A PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP WITH AN "AMERICAN IDOL" JUDGE, AIRING WEDNESDAY, MAY 4 ON ABC
A special hour-long "Primetime Live" report explores explosive claims about behind-the-scenes activities at the hit television show "American Idol." The accusations - which other contestants say raise serious questions about fairness on the popular talent competition -- come from Corey Clark, one of twelve finalists during the program's second season. In an exclusive interview with "Primetime" co-anchor John Quiqones, Clark alleges that "Idol" judge Paula Abdul initiated an off-camera relationship with him while he was a contestant in which she provided him with tips and assistance, even helping him to select what he would sing. Clark also claims that Abdul worked with him to improve his "look" by giving him money to buy expensive clothing. He tells Quiqones that his relationship with Abdul, which was at first platonic, eventually became sexual. And he charges that, in recent phone conversations -- including an answering machine message that he played for "Primetime" -- Abdul implored him not to talk about her to the media or publish his memoirs. He discusses how his alleged relationship with Abdul is reflected in a new song he has recorded for an upcoming album. "Fallen Idol," a special edition of "Primetime Live," airs WEDNESDAY, MAY 4 (10:02-11:00 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network.
Clark was abruptly removed from "American Idol" during the finals when it came to light that he had failed to inform the show that he had been arrested after a domestic dispute with his sister and an ensuing scuffle with police. Clark eventually pled no contest to a misdemeanor charge of "obstructing legal process"; other charges were dropped.
Abdul's representative issued a media statement last week that said Clark is a "liar" who is making false claims to generate publicity for himself.
"Primetime Live" received the following statement from "American Idol" this afternoon at 5:15 p.m., ET:
"Disqualified 'American Idol' contestant Corey Clark was removed from the show for failing to disclose his criminal arrest history. Despite documented procedures and multiple opportunities for contestants to raise any concerns they may have, the producers of 'American Idol,' FreemantleMedia, 19 Entertainment and FOX were never notified or contacted by Mr. Clark, nor presented any evidence concerning his claims. We will, of course, look into any evidence of improper conduct that we receive. In the meantime, we recommend that the public carefully examine Mr. Clark's motives, given his apparent desire to exploit his prior involvement with 'American Idol' for profit and publicity."
Clark's parents, Jan and Duane, tell Quiqones that their son told them at the time that he was involved with Abdul and that they disapproved of his having a relationship with a judge during the competition. They say they spoke with Abdul when she called their house looking for their son. Quiqones also interviews friends of Clark, who say he told them about the alleged relationship at the time and even brought Abdul to meet them. And other contestants from season two of "American Idol" weigh in with their reactions to Clark's surprising allegations.