July 20, 2009 — -- Could "American Idol" finally bid adieu to Paula Abdul?
The Fox reality competition Abdul has helped judge since its 2002 inception may be cutting her from its payroll. According to Abdul's manager, David Sonenberg, "Idol" hasn't offered her a formal contract proposal for season nine contract, whose auditions are already underway.
"Very sadly, it does not appear that she's going to be back on Idol," Sonenberg told the Los Angeles Times last week. "I find it under these circumstances particularly unusual; I think unnecessarily hurtful," he added. "I find it kind of unconscionable and certainly rude and disrespectful that they haven't stepped up and said what they want to do."
It's not the first time Abdul has teetered on the edge of being bounced from the show.
Sonenberg, representatives for "American Idol" and representatives for its parent production company, FremantleMedia, did not immediately respond to ABCNews.com's requests for comment. Fox declined to comment on the reports.
Over the weekend, "Idol" fans took to Twitter, posting messages of support for Abdul tagged with the trending topic #KeepPaula. She tweeted her thanks Saturday, saying "If it weren't for you, this specific time and situation would feel a whole lot worse! ... I'm actually moved 2 tears upon reading the enormous amount of tweets showing me your kindness, love,&undying support. God bless all of you!"
Abdul's potential dismissal comes on the heels of "Idol" host Ryan Seacrest signing a deal worth a reported $45 million that will make him the highest paid host on reality TV and keep him on the show for at least the next three years. According to TMZ.com, Abdul earns a fraction of that from "Idol," between $2 and $3 million a year.
But regardless of her salary, in April, Abdul told ABC News there's no place she'd rather be than "Idol," and though she didn't have a contract for season nine, no one should underestimate her power on the show.
"I love the show, I do. I love what I do on the show and I'm loving it more this season than ever," Abdul said. "Don't bet against me ... because the most powerful kryptonite I possess is the connection with the people."
Paula Abdul's Woes as 'American Idol' Judge
This is the latest controversy to cloud Abdul's stint on "Idol," She has been embroiled in public disputes, sometimes on-camera, with fellow judges Simon Cowell, Randy Jackson and Kara DioGuardi as well as the show's producers and contestants.
In 2005, former contestant Corey Clark claimed he had an affair with Abdul while on the show and that she promised to give him $2 million to fund his career. Clark's accusations prompted Fox to launch an investigation into Abdul's behavior and institute an "enhanced non-fraternization policy" between "Idol" judges and contestants.
Last year, would-be "Idol" contestant and Abdul fanatic Paula Goodspeed committed suicide after she was ridiculed and flatly rejected by the judges during her audition. On Nov. 12, 2008, Goodspeed parked her car a few doors down from Abdul's Los Angeles home and, according to LA police, died from an apparent overdose. At the time, Reuters reported that prescription pills, along with CDs and pictures of Abdul, were found in the car.