Paula Abdul Leaving 'American Idol'

After much speculation, Paula Abdul will not be returning to “American Idol” next season.

The “Idol” judge hit her Twitter page on Tuesday night to break the news.

“With sadness in my heart, I’ve decided not to return to #Idol,” she posted on her Twitter page. “I’ll miss nurturing all the new talent,but most of all being a part of a show that I helped from day1become an international phenomenon.”

Following the announcement, FOX issued a statement of their own to Access Hollywood confirming Paula would not be in her judge’s chair next season for the first time since the show began in 2002.

“Paula Abdul has been an important part of the ‘American Idol’ family over the last eight seasons and we are saddened that she has decided not to return to the show. While Paula will not be continuing with us, she’s a tremendous talent and we wish her the best,” the statement from FOX said.

During her “Idol” negotiations, Paula posted several messages on her Twitter page making it clear that her return was still up in the air.

“Your support & encouragement means so much to me. I hope you understand I can only return to #Idol if the deal is fair,” she posted last week.

On Tuesday, after announcing she would not return for the show’s upcoming ninth season, Paula once again offered her heartfelt thanks to her fans for their support.

“What I want to say most, is how much I appreciate the undying support and enormous love that you have showered upon me… It truly has been breathtaking, especially over the past month,” she wrote. “I do without any doubt have the BEST fans in the entire world and I love you all.”

Paula’s negotiations with “Idol” producers reportedly came down to money. According to a previous report by Radar Online, the veteran reality judge was asking for $20 million to return to the show – “Idol” was reportedly willing to offer half of that amount.

The news of her departure comes just weeks after host Ryan Seacrest inked a new contract worth $45 million over three years, making him the highest paid host on reality TV.

Meanwhile, last week it was confirmed that the newest member to the “Idol” judging panel, Kara DioGuardi, would be returning to the show when Season Nine bows in January.

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