Simon Cowell: New $144 million 'Idol' deal report 'absolute nonsense'
By Christopher Rocchio, 07/13/2009
Simon Cowell knows he deserves big bucks, but he has denied recent reports that he has signed a $144 million deal to continue serving as an American Idol judge.
"I wish! Come off it," Cowell toldExtra correspondent Terri Seymour in a Monday report. "It's absolute nonsense... crazy, crazy nonsense. Speculation. Not true. Nothing has been signed."
The November 2005 five-season agreement Cowell signed with Fox expires after Idol's ninth season next spring, and last month The Financial Times reported that he had been in talks with Fox and Idol's 19 Entertainment production company to renew his contract in a deal that would be "likely to surpass even Oprah Winfrey's estimated earnings."
The deal was reportedly worth "between $100 million and $144 million per year," the U.K.'s The Guardian newspaper subsequently reported, according to The New York Post.
Despite denying the deal, Cowell did confirm that contract negotiations to return to Idol are ongoing.
"There hasn't been a deal done," he told Seymour.
"We're talking to Fox. We have a very good relationship with them. As to what we're going to do ongoing over a number of different bits and pieces... we'll see... we are having conversations."