Entertainment behind the scenes
“Idol” judge Paul Abdul details painkiller dependency
“American Idol” judge Paula Abdul has opened up about the effect her dependence on painkillers had on her life, after her sometimes erratic behavior on the show and in television interviews has caused many commentators to say she at times appeared to be under the influence.
In an interview with Ladies Home Journal posted on the magazine’s Web site on Tuesday, Abdul said that for the first time in a dozen years she is no longer dependent on medication, after checking into a California resort last fall to wean herself of the medication.
“I could have killed myself … Withdrawal — it’s the worst thing,” Abdul told the magazine. “I was freezing cold, then sweating hot, then chattering and in so much pain, it was excruciating.”
Abdul, 46, said she suffered a series of a injuries that caused her lingering pain, including an accident when she was a 17-year-old cheerleader, before going on to pop star fame in the 1980s. In the 1990s, Abdul suffered a broken leg from a stage routine gone wrong, a car collision and an airplane crash into an Iowa cornfield. She told the magazine she began taking painkillers and Chinese medicine to keep up with her performance schedule.
“I didn’t want anyone to count me out,” she said. “I tried to keep everything hush-hush.”
Adbul admitted to the magazine that the pain made her “get weird.” Her admission differed from past interviews she has given. The pop star told ABC News program “Nightline” last month that she has never abused prescription drugs. In 2007 on NBC program “Today,” co-anchor Matt Lauer asked if she had been addicted to painkillers.
“I’ve never been addicted to painkillers,” Abdul told Lauer. “Painkillers don’t work for me.”
Abdul is expected to perform her single “I’m Just (Here for the Music)” on the “Idol” results show on Wednesday.
In other “Idol” news on Tuesday, the show’s alpha judge Simon Cowell said on TV chat program “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” that Kara DioGuardi, a new judge to the panel this season, will return next season. DioGuardi had said as recently as last week that she was not sure of her future on the show, telling TV Guide Magazine, “I’m only here for one season. That’s what we have discussed. So we’ll see what happens. Hopefully they’ll keep me on.”
At the time, Cowell was non-committal about DioGuardi’s future, telling TV Guide only that he would not appear on the show without host Ryan Seacrest and fellow panelists Randy Jackson and Paula Abdul, and conspicuously not mentioning DioGuardi. Despite the possible change of heart, Cowell is still complaining that the addition of DioGuardi as the fourth judge slows down the show.