XXXXX DRUDGE REPORT XXXXX MONDAY MAY 02, 2005 11:32:05 ET XXXXX
WILL PAULA BE BOUNCED FROM 'IDOL': ANSWERING MACHINE MESSAGE TO BE AIRED
Is Paula Abdul the next person to be booted off AMERICAN IDOL?
FOX executives have declined to answer any and all questions posed by ABCNEWS regarding claims AMERICA IDOL judge Paula Abdul personally "coached" a favorite contestant and then tried to cover up the breach, the DRUDGE REPORT has learned.
Even though ABC has been warned by Abdul powerattorney Marty Singer that the network faces legal action if it proceeds with Wednesday night's PRIMETIME LIVE expose -- ABC lawyers are convinced the bombshell audio evidence and video material to be presented in the special will pass any legal challenge.
Late night phone calls and answering machine messages are said to tie Abdul, 42, to an inappropriate relationship with a 22 year-old contestant, sources tell DRUDGE.
ABC is preparing to play the audio, along with on-camera interviews given by former contestants who did not receive the same personal "coaching."
"I am quite surprised and disappointed ABC is devoting an hour of its prime time programming to air tabloid trash," a top FOX executive said from Los Angeles.
FOX owner Rupert Murdoch has informed executives that it appears ABC is attempting to maliciously "destroy" the nation's most-watched series as it heads into the final weeks.
Who is the mystery 22-year old? It doesn't specify male or female either.