"Yes, it's true; I won't be returning to The X Factor next season. I've learned through my longevity in this industry that business decisions often times override personal considerations. Simon [Cowell] and I, along with Fox and [producers] Fremantle, have been communicating about this for a while now, and I have absolute understanding of the situation," The X Factor and former American Idol judge said in a statement.
"Simon is, and will remain a dear friend of mine and I've treasured my experience working this past season with my extended family at Fox and Fremantle. I want nothing more than for The X Factor to exceed ALL of their wildest dreams. This truly has been a blessing and I am most grateful."
The X Factor shake-up leaves only two on-camera faces returning for the show's second season -- creator and lead judge Simon Cowell and fellow judge L.A. Reid. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Cowell has decided The X Factor "needs a bigger celebrity" on its judging panel.
However, shortly after Abdul's statement was released, both Fox and Cowell released their own statements confirming her departure and thanking her for her contributions to The X Factor.
"I want to say a massive thank you to Paula, Nicole and Steve for being part of The X Factor last year. We had a lot of fun making the show together and importantly, we found some real talent and stars," Cowell explained.
"You do develop friendships with the people you work with and Paula, in particular, is a very close friend and I expect to be working with her on another project in the near future. I'm sure all three are going to have massive success in what they do next, but now is the time to thank them all for everything they did last year."
"We love Paula. She is a remarkable talent and we appreciate all of her contributions. We're lucky that she is a part of the Fox family, and we look forward to working with her again soon," Fox reality chief Mike Darnell said in an additional statement.
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