Abdul has been an Idol judge since the show premiered in 2002 and is currently in the last year of a three-year contract she signed with Fox in March 2006.
Rumors that the network is considering replacing her have swirled for years but grew stronger when the network announced Kara DioGuardi would join Idol as a new fourth judge last summer. OK! Weekly subsequently reported that Abdul was developing new television projects and was hoping to "transition" off the Fox mega-hit reality series in November.
While her personal publicist Jeff Ballard later called the report "absolutely untrue", Abdul still sparked new speculation when she did a December interview in which she lashed out at Idol's producers and suggested that the fact that she was still "under contract" was the primary reason she was returning for the show's recently-concluded eighth season.
Abdul later denied saying "anything disparaging" during the December interview with Barbara Walters.
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