Paula Abdul sued, company claims 'Hey Paula!' show idea stolen
By Christopher Rocchio, 02/07/2007
It looks as though we may never learn what makes Paula Abdul so wacky.
A production company has filed a lawsuit against Abdul that claims the American Idol judge tried to cheat them out of a reality series based on her life, according to TMZ.com, which obtained a copy of the production company's court filing.
Pilgrim Films and Television, the production company responsible for American Chopper, Ghost Hunters and The Ultimate Fighter, among other reality series, filed the lawsuit in Los Angeles County Superior Court on Thursday, February 1.
According to Pilgrim, the company met with Abdul and her producing partner David Russo in 2004 and discussed the creation a talk show featuring the 44-year-old Idol judge. However after several "false starts," the lawsuit states the concept evolved into a reality show titled Hey Paula!, which would be based on Abdul's "wacky life."
The project apparently "fell apart," according to the lawsuit, after Abdul demanded final editorial control over the product. While the suit claims Pilgrim attempted to get Hey Paula! on-air by selling it to Oxygen, the production company alleges Abdul "came clean" and told them "she had secretly taken [Pilgrim's] Hey Paula! project... to Bravo." On January 12, Bravo announced it would air Hey Paula!, a new docu-reality series on the Idol judge's professional and personal life, sometime later this year.
The lawsuit filed by Pilgrim claims Abdul never mentioned Russo was allegedly "in on" selling the show to Bravo, and also asks for compensatory and punitive damages, in addition to an injunction "prohibiting anyone from airing Hey Paula!
"While I'm not going to respond to this baseless lawsuit, I will say that Hey Paula! is based upon my life and my ideas," Abdul told TMZ.com. "Last I heard, I still own my own life." Russo's lawyer, Bill Abrams, told TMZ.com, "The allegations are baseless."