Fox: We're taking Corey's claims seriously. The network insists, despite spoof during ''Idol'' finale, that it's investigating Clark's allegations regarding Paula Abdul

By Gary Susman
Updated May 27, 2005 at 04:00 AM EDT
Corey Clark
Credit: Corey Clark: Lawrence Schwartzwald / Splash News/NewsCom

The American Idol season may be over, but the Corey Clark-Paula Abdul soap opera continues. The latest volley comes from Fox, responding to Clark’s complaint Thursday over a skit in Wednesday’s season finale making fun of the Season 2 contestant’s accusations of improper conduct by judge Paula Abdul. After Clark issued a statement blasting Fox and the Idol producers for demonstrating their apparent lack of seriousness regarding the promised investigation, Fox responded with a statement of its own, insisting that, spoof or no spoof, the network was still conducting a probe.

As those who managed to sit through Wednesday’s entire season finale recall, the long wait for Carrie Underwood’s coronation included a sketch that parodied Clark’s recent interview on ABC’s Primetime Live, in which the would-be pop star and newly minted memoirist alleged that Abdul coached and seduced him when he was a finalist two years ago. Abdul dismissed his claims as a publicity stunt, though Fox said it would look into his allegations. Wednesday’s sketch, shot in the style of the ABC exposé, revealed the shocker that judge Simon Cowell was having an affair… with himself.

Clark responded Thursday with a statement issued by his spokesman, saying: ”By choosing to spoof such a serious situation on last night’s final episode, Fox and American Idol have collectively made a complete mockery of their viewers, their sponsors, and the FCC. Instead of honoring their promise to conduct a proper investigation, Fox and American Idol continue to waste valuable time and energy on juvenile diversion tactics when they should be pursuing the truth.”

Fox insisted on the seriousness of its intentions in its reply to Clark’s statement, though even there, the network couldn’t resist a another personal dig at Clark. The parody, Fox said, ”in no way mitigates the fact that the network and producers of the series are seriously looking into the allegations — regardless of the fact that they came from Corey Clark, who has clear ulterior motives for making his claims.”

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American Idol

Ryan Seacrest hosts as Katy Perry, Lionel Richie, and Luke Bryan guide aspiring singers on their way to superstardom.

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