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American Idol: Paula Abdul’s Painkiller Addiction

May 07, 2009 01:00 PM by Britteny Elrick

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Paula Abdul is finally opening up about her 12 dependency on prescription medication. The performer has dealt with a fair share of rumors surrounding her sometimes unexplainable behavior on American Idol, and she is finally talking about it. Paula sat down with Ladies’ Home Journal to talk about her struggles and triumphs over the years…

During the course of her career, Paula has suffered many injuries. When she was just 17, she suffered a horrible back injury while cheerleading and decided toopt out ofback surgery, which she was told might not fix the problem anyway. Her injuries continued as she got increasingly famous. Paula broke her leg during on-stage rehearsals in1991, followed by asevere car crash in 1992, where she incurred a neck injury. Then in 1993 she was involved in an Iowa plane crash, which left her partially paralyzed, and she needed 15 spinal surgeries to recover. Paula said of her injuries, “I’d been working nonstop. But she wasn’t really living. I’m an old-school professional, never let them see you sweat.”

All of this led to the fact that Paula was taking severe pain medication for several years until finally deciding to give it all up last November. She checked herself into a rehab facility and said, “I could have killed myself…. Withdrawal — it’s the worst thing. 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.”

Paula is happy with her lifenow and looking for a fresh start. She plans on selling her home and traveling. “I went around the world on tour, but all I saw was the inside of my hotel rooms,” she says. “I’m working on finding that guy,” she says. “I’m just like every other girl who wants to find a soul mate and live happily ever after.”

And despite all the rumors,Paula loves being ajudge on American Idol. Even though she tried to quit seven times on her first day, she remarks, “From day one Simon and I have had a love-hate relationship. He’s like the brother I never had, or wanted. But I always knew the show was going to be a big success.” Without Paula there would be a definite lack of compassion towards the contestants. She said,”It’s been an amazing journey. American Idolhas been a gift. Nothing makes me happier than nurturing talent and seeing them rise and take flight. It’s my true calling in life.”

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photo credit: wiredimage.com

Topics: American Idol, FOX Reality TV Shows, Paula Abdul |

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