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Idol Gossip: Paula Helped Corey

"American Idol" contestant Corey Clark, left, claims he had an affair with American Idol judge Paula Abdul while he was on the show may not be enough to turnoff a majority of the show's fans or cool the ratings.
AP
A former "American Idol" contestant claims judge Paula Abdul coached him on song selections, helped buy him clothes to wear on television and even gave him prescription cough medicine to soothe his throat.

And, claimed 2003 contestant Corey Clark on ABC's "Primetime Live" Wednesday, Abdul initiated a sexual relationship and pleaded with him recently to keep it a secret.

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

Famous "Idol" alumnus Clay Aiken finds it hard to believe, with all the security for contestants.

"We couldn't leave the house without checking out. We couldn't come back in without checking back in. I didn't get to see my mama," he said Thursday on CBS News' Early Show.

Aiken told co-anchor René Syler he believes "who I know to be a nurturing, and caring person. She was like that for everybody on the show. She was always the judge who was willing to give advice and willing to be supportive and willing to be nurturing."

Entertainment Weekly television editor Lynette Rice thinks it was more than that.

"There is obviously proof, phone records, multiple phone records,"

. "He went out in public with her."

But it's hardly a criminal matter, says Harvey Levin of the "Celebrity Justice" show.

"I think it's a scandal. Nobody's going to get prosecuted for this. I think its highly embarrassing for Paula Abdul," he told Kauffman.

"This warrants at least a discussion between the network and the producers. 'Do we have a problem here?'" said Rice.

While seemingly under siege this season, "American Idol" is still a hit with viewers — 23.8 million watched Tuesday night — heading to a May 24-25 finale.

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

"Primetime Live" showed how Clark 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.