Singer Paula Abdul was vindicated Thursday by a federal court jury that rejected backup singer Yvette Marine’s claim that she sang co-lead vocals on Abdul’s debut Virgin disc “Forever Your Girl.”

Marine sued Virgin, claiming her voice was blended with Abdul’s on key songs on the album.

Marine also claimed her credit as a backup singer was a deception advanced by the label in an effort to keep the public from discovering Abdul was not the sole vocalist on the hit single “Opposites Attract.”

The five-man, four-woman jury took less thanfour hours to reach its verdict in favor of Virgin, pointing out that Abdul’s was the “dominant voice” they heard in the recordings.

A tearful Abdul hugged friends and supporters in the courtroom when the verdict was announced. In a hastily called press conference held on the courthouse steps, the singer said she felt vindicated by the jury’s decision.

“This month has been a horrible experience for me,” Abdul said of the monthlong trial. “I’m so grateful to my record company. They showed their commitment to me as an artist and to the entire industry,” she said.

Marine feels vindicated

Marine felt she was vindicated on a certain level as well.

“I’m disappointed” at the verdict, she said in a telephone interview. “But at least I got to prove I wasn’t lying, which (Virgin) kept saying I was.” Marine said she felt the trial “showed everyone that I was (singing) on the album.”

She admitted being glad it was finally over. “We were told this would never go before a jury, that it was frivolous, and would be dismissed. I’m happy that I even got (to court),” Marine said.

Juror Lisa Nelson said the jury reached its decision quickly, “overwhelmingly believing” that Abdul’s voice was “predominant in all of the music. (We) definitely heard Paula, she has a very distinct voice.”

Virgin Records counsel Joseph Yanny said that the verdict sends a message to both artists and lawyers. “It will send a very loud and clear message (to those) who think there’s a quick road on the ladder of success. You have to take it one rung at a time and you can’t be skipping anything.”

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