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.
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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