Music mogul Simon Cowell's $36 million (GBP11.9 million) salary for his work on hit U.S. TV series American Idol has sparked controversy on the set of the talent show - because he's earning far more than his fellow judges.
The show's former executive producer Nigel Lythgoe has finally come forward to confirm Cowell's earnings after he was profiled in financial magazine Forbes.
And though Lythgoe insists the star is worth the multi-million dollar fee, he admits there has been jealousy between Cowell and his counterparts, judges Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson.
He says, "There is always jealousy in every job. Why is he getting more than the other two judges? Because it is believed that he brings more to the table. He has actually handled his negotiations quite brilliantly. He's only ever negotiated by the year. And now he is getting something like $22,000 (GBP11,892) per minute."