Randy Jackson "Shocked" Paula Abdul Leaving Idol

Entertainment Aug. 5, 2009 AT 3:40PM
Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson pose for a photo backstage during MTV's Total Request Live on March 10, 2008 in New York City. Credit: Scott Gries/Getty Images

Judge Randy Jackson can't believe Paula Abdul is leaving American Idol.

"I am shocked," Jackson tells Usmagazine.com in a statement. "Paula is a dear friend and will be missed."

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Abdul posted on Twitter late last night that she wouldn't be returning to the FOX hit, which begins taping its ninth season Thursday.

"With sadness in my heart, I've decided not to return to Idol," Abdul, 47, Twittered. "I'll miss nurturing all the new talent, but most of all being a part of a show that I helped from day one become an international phenomenon."

Host Ryan Seacrest -- who just inked a $45 million contract with the show -- posted on Twitter shortly after: "I am shocked and saddened about Paula...Idol and the cast have grown with each other over the last 8 seasons..I can't imagine the panel without Paula. She's a star [and] a great friend."

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FOX producers said in a statement: "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."

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The New York Times reports Abdul demanded $20 million to remain on the show. The paper reported she earned about $2 million last season.

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