To quote a Corey Clark song, the "Paulatics" are over.
FOX and the producers of "American Idol" announced Friday (August 12) that an independent counsel has cleared judge Paula Abdul of allegations of coaching and having an affair with former contestant Clark.
"I'm grateful this ordeal is over, and I'm so looking forward to getting back to the job I love," Abdul said in a statement, according to The Associated Press.
According to FOX, former federal prosecutor Marcell McRae and attorney Ivy Kagan Bierman spent three and a half months reviewing materials provided by Clark and Abdul and interviewing 43 people (see "Corey Clark Meeting With 'Idol' Producers Over Paula Flap" and "FOX, 'Idol' Launch Formal Probe Of Paula Abdul Sex Scandal").
Clark's claims, which he made in a highly publicized edition of ABC News' "Primetime Live" (see "Corey Clark Advertises Paula Abdul Affair, LP On 'Primetime' "), "have not been substantiated by any corroborating evidence or witnesses, including those provided by Mr. Clark," the statement from FOX read, according to AP. "Ms. Abdul acknowledges that she had telephone conversations with Mr. Clark while he was a contestant. Their accounts of those conversations, however, differ greatly, and no evidence was uncovered to resolve the conflicts in their accounts."
In addition to clearing Abdul, who will return as a judge for the show's fifth season in January, the statement released Friday said "Idol" producers will enhance the non-fraternization policy in their rules in order to prevent further controversies between contestants and those affiliated with the show.
Clark, a contestant on season two, was booted from the show because he failed to reveal a prior arrest. He has said he never intended to get Abdul kicked off.