An "American Idol" judge has some harsh words for the Fox TV talent show's first winner, Kelly Clarkson, who hasn't agreed to let "Idol" use her songs.

Simon Cowell said if it turns out the star is trying to disassociate herself with the show that launched her, it would be career suicide, the New York Post reported Wednesday.

"That (would be) a big mistake," Cowell said Tuesday. "When they walk away from the show and try to forget ... it's not the show itself (that is affected), it's the people who bothered to vote week after week."

"They're the people who put her where she is today. And I think that by ignoring the show, you're ignoring the audience that put you there."

A spokesman for Clarkson could not be reached, but "American Idol" executive producer Nigel Lythgoe speculated it could be less of a controversy and more of a paperwork misunderstanding, the Post said.