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HOME > American Idol > American Idol 8

Paula Abdul denies admitting to painkiller addiction, undergoing detox

By Christopher Rocchio, 05/08/2009 

Paula Abdul has denied a recent report that she spent last Thanksgiving undergoing detox after abusing pain medication.

The claims were made in Ladies' Home Journal's June 2009 issue and insinuated the American Idol judge was addicted to pain medication before checking herself into La Costa Resort and Spa in Carlsbad, CA last November. 

While the Ladies' Home Journal article contains no actual quotes from Abdul in which she states she went to La Costa to detox, the report does claim she checked in to "wean herself off her medication in one fell swoop."

"It was very stressful for me to hear that and to be quoted saying something I never said.  I never checked into a rehab clinic, I never was addicted to or abused drugs, and I've never been addicted or abused alcohol -- I've never even been drunk in my life,"  said Abdul during a Thursday morning appearance on the WKQI Mojo in the Morning radio show.

"They put things out of context and there will be a press release about it."

The Ladies' Home Journal article added Abdul "was taking heavy-duty pain killers" but was "determined to overcome the habit" last Thanksgiving.

"I could have killed myself.... Withdrawal -- it's the worst thing," she told Ladies' Home Journal. "I was freezing cold, then sweating hot, then chattering and in so much pain, it was excruciating. But at my very core, I did not like existing the way I had been."

Abdul acknowledged during her radio appearance that she did check into La Costa last fall but added it wasn't to detox.

"Anyone who's gone to La Costa Resort and Spa knows it's a spa.  I was there for almost three days having fun doing spa stuff.  If you look up La Costa Resort and Spa, it's not a clinic.  It's not a detox.  It's a luxurious spa," she said.  "It's like taking a mini-vacation when you're working.  It was during Thanksgiving weekend.  I just wanted to chill out."

When asked if she planned on filing a lawsuit against Ladies' Home Journal, Abdul responded the matter was currently being taken care of by her "handlers."

"This is about a time in my life right now when I'm having the best season and a blast," she said.  "I'm really working hard and doing what I love to do."

In April 2005, Abdul revealed she suffers from a rare neurological disorder called complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS), which causes the chronic pain she feels.  

She's also been diagnosed with reflex sympathetic dystrophy, a chronic condition characterized by severe pain that has no cure.

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