“Yes, it’s true; I won’t be returning to The X Factor next season,” Abdul, 49, said in a statement released by her rep.
“She was fired, but everything is amicable,” a source tells PEOPLE. “They had fun last season, but the show’s evolved.”
Based on her statement, Abdul isn’t taking the news personally. “I’ve learned through my longevity in this industry that business decisions often times override personal considerations,” she said. “Simon and I, along with Fox and Fremantle, have been communicating about this for a while now, and I have absolute understanding of the situation.”
Host Steve Jones and Abdul’s fellow panelist Nicole Scherzinger are also departing the show, leaving L.A. Reid and Simon Cowell to judge and mentor contestants on season 2.
“I want to say a massive thank you to Paula, Nicole and Steve for being part of The X Factor last year,” Cowell said in a statement Tuesday. “You do develop friendships with the people you work with and Paula, in particular, is a very close friend and I expect to be working with her on another project in the near future.”
Apparently, the feeling is mutual. “Simon is, and will remain, a dear friend of mine, and I’ve treasured my experience working this past season with my extended family at Fox and Fremantle,” Abdul also said. “I want nothing more than for The X Factor to exceed ALL of their wildest dreams.”
She concluded with, “This truly has been a blessing and I am most grateful.”
By Stephen M. Silverman and Liz McNeil