Fleetwood Mac rocker Stevie Nicks insists she "deeply regrets" suggesting she would have killed Nicki Minaj and gone to prison for it should the Queens rapper had threatened her in the same way she did Mariah Carey.

"How dare this little girl! ... If I had been Mariah I would have walked over to Nicki and strangled her to death right there," Nicks, 64, told The Daily after video clips of the infamous bust-up emerged online. "I would have killed her in front of all those people and had to go to jail for it," she added. The American Idol judges caused a storm after a heated debate over a contestant seemingly got out of hand, with Carey later revealing to Barbara Walters that Minaj had threatened to shoot her - something that incensed Stevie Nicks. The Fleetwood Mac star has since backed off, telling the New York Daily News, "I want to apologize for my remarks about Nicki Minaj's behavior toward Mariah Carey, which I said during a long and exhausting day of interviews," adding, "It was very out of character for me and I deeply regret what I said. I feel very protective toward Mariah Carey who has gone through many difficulties in her life and I spoke without thinking. I think all artists should be respectful toward one another and that includes me."

It has been claimed that Carey could quit American Idol over the incident, and the future of the current judging panel hangs in the balance.