May 06, 2005 03:15 PM

Embattled judge Paula Abdul isn’t hiding from the American Idol controversy: She released a statement Friday pledging to “take the high road” regarding accusations by former contestant Corey Clark that they had an affair. She also is scheduled to appear on this weekend’s edition of Saturday Night Live, according to TV’s The Insider.

An SNL spokesman wouldn’t confirm the appearance, saying only that he hoped such plans come together, the Associated Press reports.

In her statement, Abdul didn’t respond to the specific allegations made by Clark – that they had an affair and that she coached him during the FOX competition – but she said “I never respond to lies” and urged fans to “see through attempts at character assassination.”

“All my life, I have been taught to take the high road, and never to dignify salacious or false accusations. And I have been taught never, never to lie,” the statement reads. “Not only do I never lie, I never respond to lies, no matter how vicious, no matter how hurtful.

“I do trust my fans who can see through attempts at character assassination, and I do trust the essential fairness of the American public.”

Meanwhile, on Thursday, Nigel Lythgoe, one of the executive producers of American Idol, addressed some of the charges by Clark.

Lythgoe, appearing on Idol host Ryan Seacrest’s morning radio show on Los Angeles’s KIIS-FM, said that while the show is investigating Clark’s allegations, some of the exchanges he described between he and Abdul were not out of the ordinary, MTV News reports. “I know for a fact that a lot of the contestants have got Paula’s phone number and contact her and she contacts them. Paula’s the den mother. I don’t have a problem with that,” Lythgoe said.

However, that information contradicts statements by the other season-two contestants who appeared on ABC’s special, all of whom said that the judges and contestants had no interaction whatsoever.

Furthermore, one of Clark’s charges against the show was that Kimberley Locke, the season’s second runner-up, was involved in a relationship with Lythgoe’s son, Simon (also an Idol producer). Locke would not confirm the relationship, but she told PEOPLE, “Any relationship I had with anyone involved in the series started after the competition ended.”

While the producer said he would “thoroughly and fully” investigate Clark’s allegations, he also said that the evidence offered on Primetime‘s “Fallen Idol” did not impress him. “The whole show was stretched out worse than one of our elimination shows,” Lythgoe said.

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