Jennifer Lopez `didn’t leave American Idol over salary dispute`

Washington: Jennifer Lopez’s decision to quit reality talent show ‘American Idol’ after two seasons had nothing to do over salary package, it has been claimed.

Contrary to reports that the ‘Waiting for Tonight’ hitmaker had asked for a 2-million-dollar hike to continue judging the Fox show for a third season, a source close to the star told People magazine that they did approach the 42-year-old actress with a “comparable offer to last year’s salary” for next season, but it was never countered or negotiated by her team.

For her first season on the show, the pop singer had earned 15 million dollars.

According to the source, she did get a raise for her second season, because the company understood the value that she brought to the series.

Her second year salary was 20 million dollars plus bonuses, the source said.

Regarding her decision to leave, the source said that it was a difficult one, and had been formed by the star’s interest in focusing on her family, film career and other creative ventures, including her fashion business.

As for her reasoning, Lopez recently told Ryan Seacrest just how tough the decision had been to quit the show along with Steven Tyler, who would be departing next season, too.

“I could do Idol for the rest of my life. But that would be giving up a bunch of other things ... I have my movies and my music and my this and my that,” she said at that time.

“It all kind of worked together for a while, but then it gets more complicated.

“I’ve never felt so much a part of a family of something. I’ve been working on as I did with Idol. I didn’t know I’d be moved so emotionally by working on the show and working with the contestants,” she added.