LATEST: Paula Abdul's job as a judge on hit TV contest American Idol is safe, after an independent counsel ruled there is no proof she had an affair with one of the show's contestants.

While bosses at US TV network Fox will keep Abdul in her role, they've vowed to implement an "enhanced non-fraternisation policy" for when the STRAIGHT UP singer and her fellow judges Simon Cowell and Randy Jackson return to work to prevent future questionable incidents involving contestants.

Abdul says in a statement: "I'm grateful this ordeal is over, and I'm so looking forward to getting back to the job I love. Once again, I thank my fans from throughout the world for their undying love and support."

Bosses at Fox hired an independent counsel last month (JUL05) to investigate claims by former Idol contender COREY CLARK that he had a sexual relationship with Abdul when he was a contestant in 2003, and that she helped him prepare for his performances on the show.

Abdul dismissed the claims as lies, although she did admit to having telephone conversations with Clark.