|May 6th, 2005
By Steve Gorman Fri May 6, 9:57 PM ET
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Far from keeping a low profile in the midst of scandal, "American Idol" celebrity judge Paula Abdul is booked to appear as a guest on this week's "Saturday Night Live," network NBC said.
Abdul's gig on the popular late-night sketch-comedy show will mark her first network TV appearance since ex-"American Idol" finalist Corey Clark went on national television Wednesday night to claim he and Abdul were secret lovers during his stint as a contestant on the show in 2003.
Clark, 24, maintains Abdul initiated the affair and covertly coached him to boost his chances on Fox TV's hit talent contest until producers ejected him from the show for concealing a criminal arrest record when he was first cast.
Clark's allegations first surfaced last week in published reports that he was shopping a tell-all book proposal, prompting Abdul, 42, to issue a statement calling him "an admitted liar and opportunist."
Clark's own appearance Wednesday on an ABC News "Primetime Live" special was followed by a day of public comments from Fox, the show's producers and others -- including fellow "Idol" contestant Clay Aiken -- expressing doubts about Clark's story. While questioning Clark's motives and credibility, Fox and producers of "Idol" have said they would look into his claims.
In her first public comment since ABC's broadcast, Abdul thanked supporters who have rallied to her defense and lobbed another salvo at Clark.
"All my life, I have been taught to take the high road, and never, never to dignify salacious or false accusations," she said. "And I have been taught never, never, to lie. Not only do I never lie, I never respond to lies, no matter how vicious, no matter how hurtful. I do trust my fans to see through attempts at character assassination, and I do trust the essential fairness of the American public."
Aside from confirming that she was scheduled as a guest on this Saturday's "SNL," which actor Johnny Knoxville is hosting, an NBC spokesman said it was not clear what Abdul would be doing on the show.
The former pro-basketball cheerleader who gained fame in the late 1980s as a pop singer has battled a spate of negative publicity in recent months, some of its stemming from a quirky on-screen demeanor marked by intense displays of emotion.
In March, she was fined $300 and sentenced to two years probation for sideswiping a car on a Los Angeles freeway and leaving the scene.
More recently, Abdul told People magazine that she has battled chronic pain for 25 years and suffers from a neurological disorder that requires a weekly injection of an anti-inflammatory drug. But she denied having a drug problem, saying, "I'm not addicted to pills of any kind."
Filed under: American Idol