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Paula Abdul: No "scandal" behind crazy 'Hey Paula' and 'Idol' behavior


By Christopher Rocchio, 07/18/2007 

Much of the behavior displayed by Paula Abdul on her Hey Paula Bravo docu-reality series is unexplainable, and the American Idol judge apparently feels that what viewers see is what they get.

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"There absolutely isn't any scandal," said Abdul during a live Wednesday morning interview on NBC's Today show with Matt Lauer.  "And I'm open and willing to talk about it. It's not my job as an entertainer that I have to talk about it, and I'm willing to. And through that I've helped a lot of people."

The "scandal" Abdul is denying is a joint venture partially created by her often wacky behavior and the media's coverage of it.  If the 45-year-old displays kooky characteristics a couple of hours a week every spring during Idol broadcasts, one can imagine the type of behavior captured by Bravo's cameras for Hey Paula, which has shown Abdul and her staffers repeatedly attempting to blame her behavior on an overloaded schedule and lack of sleep.

"I've never been drunk in my life, Matt," she explained on Today.  "I've never been drunk in my life. And that's the whole thing about me being a judge on American Idol, is it is the toughest job for me because I have to think of something positive to say even when they're trying to rise above adversity. And so sometimes when I'm excited and I want to get something out... I'll say, I'll stop."

While Abdul might have claimed -- for what is seemingly the hundredth time -- that she's "never been drunk," she told Lauer she does enjoy the occasional cocktail.

"I'll have an occasional sip of wine or drink that has an umbrella on it and sugar," she said.

In addition to once again refuting rumors she's a drinker, Abdul also reiterated that having survived an auto accident when she was hit by a drunk driver in 1987; a plane crash in 1993; as well as having to live with reflex sympathetic dystrophy -- a chronic condition characterized by severe pain that has no cure -- she has "never been addicted to painkillers."

"Painkillers don't work for me," she told Lauer.  "That's the biggest misconception. And having been through a plane crash and having 14 cervical spinal surgeries the hardest thing for me is I've had to learn to live in pain."

Due to the absence of painkillers, Abdul said she takes "biogenic medicine."

"If there was a botox for nerves that can stop them from glomming onto one another, there's a drug called Enbrel that's used for skin disorders that works for me," she told Lauer.  Abdul has previously stated she also regularly sees a message specialist to "calm the nervous system" as well as an acupuncture specialist who deals in head and spinal-cord trauma.

Despite working a "tremendous amount" on everything from Idol and Hey Paula to producing her Bratz: The Movie project and developing clothing and jewelry lines, Abdul said things are "looking upward" in her romantic life.

"Things are good," she told Lauer, who had to coax more information out of her.  "There is somebody in particular."

However it was only after Lauer actually mentioned her new beau's name and whipped out an image of her with him at the Hairspray premiere -- 31-year-old nightclub owner JT Torregiani -- that Abdul confirmed he is in fact the object of her affection.

"That would be... that's him," she said.  "He's a good guy."

(Photo credit Bravo)


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