Paula Abdul Demanded $20 Million to Stay on Idol

Before announcing she was leaving American Idol Tuesday, Paula Abdul — who was believed to have earned about $2 million in salary last season — had demanded "a substantial raise," according to The New York Times.

A person close to negotiations tells The Times that the producers had offered Abdul, 47, a 30 percent raise and a total multi-year deal worth more than $10 million.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, Abdul asked for about $20 million to continue with the show.

She "felt unappreciated" in recent months, The Times reports.

Ryan Seacrest had inked a three-year $45 million deal, and Simon Cowell, who has suggested he may leave at the end of his current deal, is already in talks to sign a deal for a reported $100 million a year.

Despite denials, Abdul also was "surprised and upset" that Kara DioGuardi was added as a fourth judge last season, The Times reports.

According to the paper, DioGuardi's hire was "widely viewed as an insurance policy" against Abdul should she leave.

See the weight ups and downs of your favorite Idol contesants

On his KIIS-FM radio show Wednesday, Seacrest said it was sad that Abdul's exit has "come to fruition."

He said her departure isn't just a publicity stunt. "As far as I know, it's real," he said. "Obviously, she has her reasons for doing it, and if she didn't feel like she was getting what she needed, then I understand that, too."

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