ABC Releases Information on ‘Fallen Idol’ Special – But Will the Allegations Stand?by David Bloomberg -- 05/04/2005
As the ABC Primetime Live special, “Fallen Idol,” approaches, more information is coming out and the battle of press releases continues. On Tuesday, ABC finally released some information about the show. According to the information on their website, it does indeed seem that most of the segment will focus on the alleged illicit relationship between judge Paula Abdul and then-contestant Corey Clark.
Of course, the accusation stems from Corey, who was removed from the show during the second season after it was discovered that he had been charged with assault and had not informed producers. So he certainly has a motive to want to get back at the show.
According to ABC, Corey told them in an interview that he had a relationship with Paula, who was 18 years his senior, that began platonic but became sexual. First, he claims, she told him, "I want to look out after you like I'm your mom." But she changed her mind and said, "Well, maybe more like your special friend."
Corey went on to tell ABC that Paula chose a hair stylist for him, helped with his overall look, and even gave him her prescription cough medicine to soothe his throat.
It’s not only Corey making the allegations. His parents were also interviewed, according to ABC, and said that Corey told them about his relationship with Paula at the time. They even said they spoke to Paula when she called looking for Corey. Two of Corey’s friends agreed and said Corey even brought Paula to meet them.
These last claims especially bring up numerous questions that hopefully will be answered tonight. When did this occur? During the finalist portion of the competition, the contestants were all living together in a house. As fellow season two finalist Carmen Rasmusen told both the Today Show and the New York Daily News. Carmen pointed out that contestants always had a security guard with them, and three at the mansion in which they lived. They were never alone in the judges, and in fact the only time they saw the judges was in the hair and makeup room. Carmen was further quoted as saying, “I never felt [Paula] was favoring one person over the other one. I never saw her alone with Corey.”
If it didn’t happen during the finalist portion of the show, then when? Part of the interview that has been published indicates that Paula began helping Corey before the final round, and indeed helped him to get into the finals. This would explain how they could have gotten together without being noticed in the finalists’ house, but it also smacks of being a bit too convenient. For one thing, at that point Paula would have barely known him – why would she risk her newly burgeoning career on him?
And really, how dumb would she have to be to do the things of which she’s being accused? Having a secret affair is one thing – but calling him at home and talking to his parents? Meeting with his friends? If these accusations are proven true, Paula should be tossed from Idol not necessarily for the affair, but for sheer stupidity.
But are they true? One piece of evidence that we’ve been hearing about lately is a supposed phone message from Paula to Corey that would help him prove his claims. The ABC information, however, does not make it sound quite so solid. According to ABC, the recorded message simply has Paula imploring him not to talk about her or publish his memoirs. Unless there is more to it than that, it’s pretty shaky ground. If I were being lied about, I might well call that person and tell them not to do it, too!
Paula has released a statement saying only that she “will not dignify the false statements made by Corey Clark with a response.” American Idol sent a statement to Primetime Live, which pointed out that Corey “was removed from the show for failing to disclose his criminal arrest history.” It continues, “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.” In other words, he never brought it up before – until, that is, he has a book to sell and publicity to seek. How convenient.
Of course, Corey says he just needs to set the record straight. Why didn’t he set it straight when he was booted? Or at any other time in the two years that have since passed? Maybe that will be made clear tonight, but I wouldn’t count on it.
The more information that becomes available, the less reliable evidence there seems to be that Corey’s allegations are true. Be sure to check back here and at Foxes On Idol for more information as it becomes available.
David Bloomberg is the Editor of RealityNewsOnline and can be reached at RNO@pobox.com.
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