Statement Analysis®

American Idol Allegations - Paula Abdul vs Corey Clark


On May 4, 2005 ABC's "Primetime Live" aired a special titled "Fallen Idol." The show centered around former American Idol contestant Corey Clark. Clark claimed he received private coaching and had a sexual relationship with Idol judge Paula Abdul while he was competing for the title of American Idol during the show's second season. Clark was booted off the show for failing to disclose his criminal history which included assault charges and resisting arrest. Some believe Clark is making these allegations to promote his book They Told Me To Tell The Truth so..The Sex, Lies and Paulatics of One of America's Idols.

So, who do we believe? Corey Clark or Paula Abdul? We know what Clark is saying. Let's see what Paula Abdul has to say about these allegations.

A spokesperson for Abdul issued this statement:

"Paula Abdul will not dignify the false statements made by Corey Clark with a response. Mr. Clark is an admitted liar and opportunist who engages in unlawful activities. He is communicating lies about Paula Abdul in order to generate interest in a book deal."

First, recognize that Paula Abdul did not give this statement. This statement is from her spokesperson. It does not say "I will not dignify..." Instead it says "Paula Abdul will not dignify..."

Secondly, there are no denials in this statement. The spokesperson never says "Paula did not coach Corey Clark." "Paula did not have sexual relations with Corey Clark." The spokesperson only states that Clark is a liar who engages in unlawful activities. All of this could be true and what Clark is saying could also be true.

Idol judge Simon Cowell defended Abdul by stating:

"Paula, to be fair to her, will spend more time backstage with the contestants giving encouragement. But that's not a bad thing. I think (the accusations) are rubbish. I think this is a guy who's out there to publish a book."

Cowell does not know for certain if the allegations are true or false. This is why he does not deny it and uses the language "I think."

What is missing is a statement and denial from Paula Abdul. We do not hear her saying, "I did not coach Corey Clark." Some would say she does not want to dignify his claims. In early 2005, there were rumors that Paula Abdul was on drugs. She was quick to deny those allegations when she stated that she's "not addicted to pills of any kind." In November 2004, she was diagnosed with Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy, a chronic neurological disorder that causes severe pain. "If people only knew what I've gone through with pain and pills. I'm dancing for joy at the fact that not even a year ago I was in so much pain I could barely get up....I get a shot (of an anti-inflammatory drug) once a week. I give it to myself." Notice we have Abdul speaking and not a spokesperson.

We can learn a lot by what people tell us. We can also learn a lot by what people do not tell us. We will have to wait and see how this story plays out.


UPDATE

On August 12, 2005, FOX, which airs American Idol, announced that Paula Abdul was cleared on any wrongdoing. FOX had conducted an investigation into Corey Clark's claims. According to FOX the investigation found that Clark's claims "have not been substantiated by any corroborating evidence of witnesses." FOX also said there was "insufficient evidence that the communications between Mr. Clark and Ms. Abdul in any way aided his performance. Further, we are confident that none of these communications had any impact on the outcome of the competition."

Let's analyze FOX's statements

Clark's claims "have not been substantiated by any corroborating evidence of witnesses."

FOX could not corroborate Clark's allegations. That does not mean he is making up these claims.

FOX also said there was "insufficient evidence that the communications between Mr. Clark and Ms. Abdul in any way aided his performance."

Notice they did not say there was no evidence. They also admit there were communications between Clark and Abdul.

"Further, we are confident that none of these communications had any impact on the outcome of the competition."

They may be confident but this type of language falls short of saying "none of these communications had any impact."

The bottom line is they could not substantiate all of Clark's claims which is what I expected they would say. Perhaps more importantly lets look at what Paula Abdul had to say about FOX's investigation.

"I'm grateful this ordeal is over, and I'm so looking forward to getting back to the job I love. Once again, I thank my fans from throughout the world for their undying love and support."

Once again this is the perfect time for Abdul to issue a denial. She could have said that FOX's findings back her claim that she did not do anything wrong. However, like in her earlier statements issued by here camp she chooses not deny Clark's claims.

Notice that Paula Abdul is not "glad" this ordeal is over. That is what most people would probably say. Instead, she is "grateful." What does the word grateful mean? It means feeling or expressing gratitude, thankful, appreciative. The word "gratitude" means "a feeling of thankful appreciation for favors received." Does Abdul know that FOX and American Idol let her off the hook?


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