FOX may sue ABC over Idol expose; Paula’s lawyer says affair story is “defamatory.”

FOX may sue ABC over Idol expose; Paula’s lawyer says affair story is “defamatory.”
ABC’s upcoming Primetime Live expose on American Idol will air one week from tonight, and it’s already generating controversy. Matt Drudge is reporting that “ABC has been warned in writing it could face legal fallout,” as “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.” According to Drudge, “FOX believes ABC has interviewed a half a dozen losing contestants–contestants who will claim AMERICAN IDOL producers and judges somehow manipulate the show’s outcome!” A source at Idol told Drudge that, specifically, “[ABC] is trying to say Paula somehow cheats and picks favorite singers to nurture, in violation of some sort of network standards.” The New York Daily News also reports that Paula Abdul’s lawyer “fired off a letter to ABC News warning them to back off unsubstantiated allegations against Abdul.” Paula’s spokesperson said the story about her alleged affair with Corey Clark is “a false story that’s defamatory to Paula.”
+ also: Lisa de Moraes on ABC’s “breathless” press release about its “Fallen Idol” special.

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Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 37, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.