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Last Updated: Friday, 6 May, 2005, 10:36 GMT 11:36 UK
High ratings for US Idol expose
Corey Clark is interviewed by ABC's John Quinones
Corey Clark, left, was interviewed by ABC's John Quinones
A US TV news special which aired an ex-American Idol contestant's claims he had an affair with judge Paula Abdul has proved a ratings hit.

ABC's Primetime Live, which featured Corey Clark's claims he was secretly coached by Ms Abdul, was watched by 13.8 million viewers on Wednesday.

Abdul denies the claims and has called Clark, who was ejected for hiding an arrest record, "an admitted liar".

Ratings for Wednesday's Idol remained "solid", Hollywood Reporter said.

Despite the allegations, 24.5 million viewers tuned in to see the latest episode, also screened on Wednesday.

Affair claims

But they were down on the average audience for Idol, now in its fourth season, of nearly 28 million viewers.

Idol network Fox has said it would "look into any evidence of improper conduct".

Last week Abdul called Clark "an admitted liar and opportunist who engages in unlawful activities".

In the Primetime Live show, Clark said Abdul gave him money for clothes and a haircut before he was disqualified from the show in April 2003.

Clark said Abdul told him she wanted to help him "have better song choices" and wanted to be his "special friend".

Paula Abdul
Paula Abdul has denied the claims made by Clark

Fox said Clark never notified the network or producers of any concerns and questioned his motives.

Before becoming an American Idol judge, Abdul was a pop star with hits including Straight Up. She also co-wrote Kylie Minogue's 2000 hit Spinning Around.

Clark was ejected from the talent show in 2003 for failing to disclose that he faced criminal charges of battery and resisting arrest after a fight with his sister. He pleaded no contest to the charges.

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