Jennifer Lopez Tearfully Confirms ‘American Idol’ Exit

'I have to get back to doing the other things that I put on hold because I love 'Idol' so much,' she tells Ryan Seacrest.

Jennifer Lopez is leaving “American Idol.”

In a tearful interview with Ryan Seacrest on Friday morning (July 13), the pop star said her plate is too full and she is bowing out of her position as judge. She doesn’t want to close the door completely, she said, but the time has come.

Steven Tyler announced his exit Thursday evening; earlier Thursday, Lopez said in a “Today” show interview that she was wrestling with the decision to stay or go.

During her radio chat with Seacrest, who also hosts “Idol,” she didn’t play coy. Lopez, who kicks off a tour with Enrique Iglesias on Saturday, said she’s been in tour mode since the “Idol” finale. Seacrest told her that since her “Today” show interview, his phone had been blowing up, but he had no idea if she was going to stay or go.

“It’s just been a really long, tough process,” Lopez said. “Ryan, you know more than anybody, I’ve been telling the truth. I really have been torn. When I signed on to ‘Idol,’ I signed on to do one year. I ended up doing two years because I just fell so in love with the show. You know that. I never felt so much part of a family of something working on it as I did with ‘Idol.’ I didn’t know I’d be so moved emotionally. It was just such a lovely surprise in my life to do it. But even last year, when I had to make the decision [to come back for a second season], it was super tough to decide. I have my movies and my music and my this and my that. It all kind of worked together for a while. But it gets complicated.”

Lopez said she started to feel very weighed down. “Something has to give. And I think that’s where I am right now,” she said.

Seacrest then asked: “So does that mean we’re co-workers or not?”

“I really was dreading this phone call with you,” she responded. “Of all the people that I’ve spoken to, I have no problem not saying anything to anybody. But with you … you’re going to make me cry,” she said, trailing off before picking back up and saying, “I honestly feel like the time has come where I have to get back to doing the other things that I have to do that I put on hold because I love ‘Idol’ so much.”

Lopez said she had a lot of other responsibilities with her many businesses. “I could keep doing ‘Idol’ for the rest of my life, but that would be giving up a bunch of other things. And, I don’t know, I feel like we’ve had an amazing run,” she said. “I feel like no matter what you guys need over there, I’m always going to be here.”

And before they finished discussing her departure, Lopez concluded: “It’s really going to be hard for me to go. It’s just one of those special things in your life that you don’t want to walk away from. It wasn’t even playing any games or wanting more money. It was just … being smart about making a business decision. I had to really be responsible in that moment. I had to weigh out a lot of responsibilities that I have.”

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