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Corey Clark Tells FOX: 'Idol' Defamed Me

Corey Clark (search), the 2003 "American Idol" contestant who claims he had an affair with judge Paula Abdul (search) and that she helped him in the singing competition, told FOX News Thursday that he just wants to repair his reputation, which he says was unfairly damaged by the show.

"At the end of the day, it is about the album and book and also about setting the record
straight, because 'American Idol' has done a great job of defaming my name and throwing a lot of mud at me for the past two years," Clark said. "So that set up a lot of roadblocks for me."

Clark told FOX News he lost a deal at Jive Records because "American Idol" sent over a "very harsh e-mail saying I was a talented dude but I was hard to deal with. But what I was doing was right by the business — I wasn't letting them exploit me or my fellow contestants. And they came up with [something] to get me out of there."

He also blamed Abdul for not helping him repair his reputation.

"She could have helped to, you know, squash [the rumors due to] her position on the show and she didn't do that."

Clark appeared to have been jilted by Abdul, who is two decades his senior.

"I was in love and in a relationship with her during the course of the show, so I got basically dumped after I was disqualified on the show. No more phone calls for two years until April 8, just out of the blue. She said, 'I heard there was a book — please don't spread lies or rumors about me.'

"I promised I wouldn't spread any lies or rumors," Clark said.

As for whether people should believe his story, Clark said he wouldn't mess with a corporate giant like "American Idol" for no legitimate reason.

"'American Idol' is a $900 million-a-year corporation. When you are dealing with that, you can't come off with lies — it's either the truth or nothing," he said.

He also said he won't help FOX Network investigate his charges because "they haven't done anything to help me in the past two years."

In a special "Primetime Live" that aired on ABC Wednesday, Clark said Abdul coached him on song selection, helped buy him clothes to wear on television and eventually initiated a sexual relationship.

FOX Network issued a statement Thursday saying it had contacted Clark for his help investigating the claims but "that has yet to happen."

"We have concerns about the motives behind last night's purported news special, as much of it was filled with rumor, speculation and assertions from a disqualified contestant who admitted during the special to telling lies," FOX said.

"Regardless, we are absolutely committed to the fairness of this competition," the network continued. "We take any accusation of this nature very seriously no matter their source and we have already begun looking into this."

In a statement last week, an Abdul representative said she would not address Clark's "false statements." The representative called Clark "an admitted liar and opportunist who engages in unlawful activities."

The "Primetime Live" special drew 13.8 million viewers on Wednesday, winning its time slot against "CSI: NY" on CBS and "Law & Order" on NBC.

The "American Idol" episode that aired earlier in the evening was seen by an estimated 24.5 million people, according to preliminary Nielsen Media Research ratings.

Clark, who recorded a song called "Paula-tics," ducked host John Quinones' question about whether Abdul should be kicked out as a judge.

"I don't know," he said. "I'm not attacking her at all. She just happens to be the key to getting this 900-pound gorilla off my back.

"I think they should look at what I was trying to say, which was that she risked so much to help me avoid the exploitation of the machine called 'American Idol,'" he said.

ABC's "Fallen Idol" special, an unusually critical report by a television network on a rival's hit show, aired during a ratings "sweeps" month, which helps determine advertising rates. It aired a half-hour after the current version of "American Idol" sent home singer Scott Savol to reach its final four contestants.

FOX Network noted that while judges can offer their opinion, the viewers eventually decide who wins.

"We have gone to great lengths and great expense to create a voting system that is fair and reliable," FOX said.

Clark reached the final 12 contestants in 2003 but was thrown off for failing to reveal a past arrest record.

"Primetime Live" showed how Clark, who was 22 at the time, serenaded Abdul during an audition, sauntering to the judge's table and kissing her on the hand. Later, he said someone slipped him Abdul's phone numbers.

He called, she sent a car to bring him to her house and they spent the night talking about how to get ahead in the game, he claimed.

"Primetime Live" detailed how Abdul, now 42, helped Clark get a cell phone and showed pages of phone records it said detailed their calls — one lasting 155 minutes.

"It felt like she was hitting on me a little bit," he said, "and I liked it."

He described how Abdul came up behind him one night and kissed him on the back of the neck, and that was the night their affair began.

The network interviewed several former contestants who missed chances to be among the final 12 contestants the year Clark moved forward.

"If these types of things are going on behind the scenes, there's really no point to 'American Idol,'" said one, Patrick Fortsen.

Clark said Abdul recently contacted him and urged him not to talk about the relationship. ABC played a tape of a cell phone message allegedly left by her.

"Hi, it's Paula," said the message. "Call me back. Listen, if the press is trying to talk to you, you say absolutely nothing. That's all you do."

Clark has written a book titled "They Told Me to Tell the Truth, So ... (The Sex, Lies, and Paulatics of One of America's Idols)." It was made available online Thursday one minute after "Primetime Live" went off the air.

Remaining competitors in this year's game are long-haired heartthrob Bo Bice of Helena, Ala.; birthday boy Anthony Fedorov of Trevose, Pa.; Vonzell Solomon of Fort Myers, Fla.; and Carrie Underwood of Checotah, Okla.

Wednesday's vote was a disappointment for organizers of votefortheworst.com, a Web site that was conspiring to get the least-talented contestant the record contract prize. Savol, of Shaker Heights, Ohio, was its pick.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

"American Idol" airs on FOX Network, a property of News Corp. News Corp. is the parent company of FOX News Channel, which operates FOXNews.com.