Paula Abdul gets candid in an interview with ABC News “Nightline’s” Cynthia McFadden airing Thursday. The “American Idol” judge talks about alcohol and prescription drug use, rumored feuds with her fellow judge Kara DioGuardi and her future with the popular reality singing competition.
Paula’s free-form feedback style during judging on “Idol” has caused many to wonder if she’s ever battled against alcohol or prescription drugs – something she flatly denies.
“So let me just ask you the question straight up. Absolutely crystal clear you have not abused prescription drugs?” Cynthia asked.
“Never,” Paula said.
“You have not consumed alcohol before going on the air?” Cynthia pressed.
“Never. I’ve never been drunk in my life,” she told Cynthia. “I don’t like it. It’s not my thing. Spending money on clothes and shoes that’s another thing.”
The interview also addresses Paula’s battle with chronic pain following a 1992 neck injury.
“No, no, no, no, no. Will not take those drugs,” she said referring to prescription pain medications. “And you can check my medical records there is nothing like that. I was never on Oxycontin or Vicadin or anything like that. I was on nerve medicine and anti-inflammatories.”
Cynthia asked about her behavior on her 2007 Bravo reality show, “Hey Paula,” saying, “There are so many times where you don’t look like you are really there. You’re eyes are closing, you’re head is falling back.”
“Because I’m falling asleep and a camera is on me,” Paula explained. “I don’t have anything that is shameful. I don’t have anything to be embarrassed about that was not accurate documentation of my life.”
Her reality show might be over, but Paula’s life is still documented in the public eye each week on “Idol.” Despite reports of a feud with new fourth judge Kara DioGuardi, Paula said the two are close friends.
“Well, I started her success. And I’m proud of it. Happy of it. I moved a stranger from New York, told her to give 2 week’s notice to Billboard magazine, and moved a stranger into my home in LA,” Paula said of Kara. “I actually think that Simon got mad that we are friends and that I actually knew her and that her humble beginning began sleeping in my guest bedroom and I just believed in her.”
“No tension between the two of you?” Cynthia asked.
“None, seriously,” Paula replied.
And with her “Idol” contract expiring at the end of Season 8, will she remain with the FOX show?
“I don’t think anyone [can replace me.] First of all Kara says, ‘I could never replace you.’ Whenever there is change it’s not about replacing anybody, it’s about possibly moving on,” she explained. “I love the show, I do. I love what I do on the show and I’m loving it more this season than ever. It’s taken me a while to get comfortable in my own skin with the show.”