Paula Abdul's 'Idol' Departure 'Not A Publicity Stunt,' Ryan Seacrest Says

'As far as I know, it's real,' 'American Idol' host says on his radio show.

Soon after [artist id="1397"]Paula Abdul[/artist] announced she would not be returning to her judge chair on "American Idol," many fans began to wonder if the news was nothing more than a publicity stunt.

But the show's host, Ryan Seacrest, revealed on his radio show Wednesday morning (August 5) that that just isn't the case. "First of all, everyone that I passed today here has asked me, 'Is it true? Is it a publicity stunt?' " he said, adding, "As far as I know, it's real — at this point, she'd decided to leave."

Seacrest also said that the news of Abdul's departure was as shocking to him as it is to fans of the show. "So the news that Paula Abdul is leaving 'American Idol' stunned me last night. She's a dear friend, I love her to death, and [it's] really sad that it's come to fruition," he said. "I'm just bummed and I think if you were to talk to Randy or Simon they'd say the same thing. It's just sad. It bums us out."

Seacrest added that he found out that Abdul was leaving the show while he was having dinner Tuesday night and wanted to make sure for himself the news was true. "The way this went down ... I was eating, so I was having something to eat [and] these tweets were going out," he explained. "So I got on the phone and I was told ... she's leaving."

However, Seacrest isn't ruling out an Abdul return somewhere down the line, after it was suggested that maybe Cowell could pull for her to come back to the show. "I would love that," he said. "That would be great. This week Randy, Simon, Kara and I are in Denver for auditions, and I'm sure I'll have more to tell you.

"You hate to see this happen. I'm sure she has her reasons. Everybody's sort of wondering what's happening, but [it's] not a publicity stunt."

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