Paula Abdul call leaked, "deeply hurt" meltdown became public
By Christopher Rocchio, 06/01/2007
Poor Paula Abdul.
The American Idol judge and star of Bravo's new Hey Paula docu-reality series was caught on tape throwing a hissy fit during a recent conference call, the New York Postreported Thursday, as she verbally tears into her former representative Howard Bragman; describes her constant battle with an adrenal disease called Addison's; and concludes by stating she's finished with having to deal with the way she's handled by "people who are supposed to be taking care of things."
"I've never been treated this way and I've never seen anybody treated this way. This is just too much to stomach," said Abdul during the conference call, which the Post reported took place sometime last week with a group of publicists, who apparently retorted to her sobs with, "You will be treated better starting right now."
"I've been going through tremendous amounts of a difficult time," Abdul continued, according to the Post. "I'm being tested. All I've ever wanted in my life is to be treated fairly and be treated with kindness. And I've never in my entire career been treated this way. The people who are supposed to take care of these things do not. I have to clean up after them everywhere they go. And I'm tired of it."
However later on Thursday evening Abdul issued a statement to TMZ.com that said she never meant for the call -- which the website reported was "secretly taped" -- to be leaked to the media.
"I am deeply hurt and extremely disappointed that someone has taken a private telephone conversation that I had with my representatives and released it to the media," Abdul told TMZ.com. "This is not only illegal but also highly unethical. While I don't feel a need to justify or explain my conversation, even as a public figure I do feel my privacy has been violated and find this action to be unacceptable."
If Abdul is hurt and disappointed, imagine how Bragman must feel considering he apparently took the brunt of her rampage, especially concerning a Wednesday, May 15 appearance she made on ABC's Jimmy Kimmel Live.
"I do a call-in every week for OK! Magazine on American Idol. Because of my brilliant job, they want to do a cover on me. I'm being told by Howard Bragman that I'm too old and no one will ever want to do a cover," said Abdul during the call, according to the Post, before moving onto her issue with the Kimmel appearance. "Howard Bragman on Monday - he did some disgusting behavior. I had to go to Jimmy Kimmel with no publicist there. I go on with no publicist there and I pay [Bragman]... I don't understand how this man can call me a whining bitch. I've never in my life been called a whining bitch and a loser."
But Bragman tells a different story about the Kimmel taping, according to TMZ.com, which reported the publicist was making his way to the studio when an Abdul assistant called him and said the Idol judge didn't want him at the taping. When the assistant reportedly called Bragman back shortly thereafter asking where he was, he recounted the previous conversation the two had just had.
"Well, you know how Paula is," the assistant told Bragman, according to TMZ.com, to which he apparently replied, "Yes I do, and I'm not a yo-yo and I'm not a puppet."
According to the Post, Bragman has since stopped working for Abdul, but wouldn't give specifics as to why.
"I'm not going into it," he told the Post. "I'll stand by my reputation if she'll stand by hers."