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Paula Abdul

Paula Abdul

Her accomplishments give her the title of a superstar. Most recently, she returned to the TV spotlight as one of the three judges of the popular American Idol Contest . A student at Van Nuys high school, Paula applied her choreography skills (thanks to dance lessons from age 9) as head of the cheerleading squad. She graduated in 1980, and shimmied her way to Cal State-Northridge, as a TV and radio student. But as her heart was truly in dance, Paula took her LA Lakers Cheerleading gig as a full-time job, after dropping out of college. While a Laker Girl, Paula was promoted to choreographer after having shaken her pompoms for some time, which is where the Jackson Five spotted her. Her dancing skills not only revolutionized the style of cheerleading as an industry, but it also impressed the Jacksons, who hired her to choreograph their "Torture" video. Paula worked with the Jackson family yet again, as she also choreographed Janet's video for "Nasty" (and danced in it as well). Other '80s pop stars such as ZZ Top, Debbie Gibson, INXS, and George Michael also enlisted the help of the dynamic dancer. But her choreography didn't end with music. With an acting credit to her name (she appeared in the 1981 film Junior High School), Paula's skills were also used to choreograph scenes in movies such as Coming to America, Dragnet, Can't Buy Me Love, Big, Bull Durham, The Doors, and subsequently Jerry Maguire and American Beauty, as well as television shows such as The Tracey Ullman Show. Paula wasn't destined to simply be a behind-the-scenes force in music and film. She networked her way to making a demo tape, and convinced Virgin America to cut her a record deal. Her debut single, "Knocked Out" was released in 1988, and she followed it up with the release of her debut album, Forever Your Girl. Both saw lukewarm results, until the single "Straight Up" was released in 1989. "Straight Up" went directly to number one, triggering the coming of a new pop diva for the early '90s. The title track to Forever Your Girl was released and saw the same success, and by time "Cold Hearted" was released, Paula had three number one hits up her sleeve. When "Opposites Attract" was released in 1990 (accompanied by an animated cool cat, MC Skat Kat, in her video), Paula became a female artist with four number one hits off her debut album, a feat few female artists have matched.

Hot off the trails of a multi-platinum album, Shut Up and Dance (remixes of Forever Your Girl tracks) was released in 1990, followed by 1991's Spellbound. The latter didn't have quite the same effect on fans, although it did spawn the mega hit, "Rush Rush". After Spellbound proved to be a so-so hit, Paula went on a little bit of a hiatus -- at least in the music business. She was still in the news though, as she had married and divorced Emilio Estevez, revealed that she suffered from bulimia, and was sued by a backup vocalist (and won). The former Grammy-winning artist tried to bounce back into music with the release of Head Over Heels in 1995, but even with singles such as "Crazy Cool" and "My Love Is For Real", the album was a failed comeback. That doesn't mean that Paula wasn't busy. She headed back to the altar, this time to marry Brad Beckerman (whom she already divorced), and returned to acting with cameo appearances in Cybill, The Single Guy, Spin City, All That, The Wayans Bros., and Sabrina, the Teenage Witch. She also starred in made-for-TV movies such as Touched by Evil and The Waiting Game, and appeared in Mr. Rock 'n' Roll: The Allan Freed Story. Moving from the realm of television to video, Paula starred in her own exercise videos, Get Up And Dance! and its follow-up, Paula Abdul: Cardio Dance. She is also currently keeping busy with her own dance education company, Co Dance, and as the sweetheart in the trio of American Idol judges.

Paula Julie Abdul was born June 19th, 1963, in San Fernando, California. The daughter of Harry and Lorraine Abdul knew early on that she wanted to dip her feet into dance. The youngest of two daughters, Paula's love for dance originated from the film, Singing In The Rain, whose star, Gene Kelly, was her idol. Her parents seperated in 1969. In 1981 Paula enrolled in Cal State Northridge. It was during this time she began a fifteen year struggle with bulemia. In 1987 Paula wisely uses over $30,000 in savings to record a demo tape.Paula continues her fight with bulimia and joins Over Eaters Anonymous.

On October 25, 1996 Paula gets married to Brad Beckerman. The wedding is included in Lifetime's Celebrity Weddings special, and also in In Style magazine. Paula met Brad on a blind date set up by friends in February of 1996. January 12, 1997 marks Paula's dramatic acting debut when the ABC Sunday Night Movie "Touched By Evil" airs. Paula has also made appearances on CBS's "Cybill" and NBC's "The Single Guy".

March 9, 1998 Paula files for divorce from Brad Beckerman, citing irreconcilable differences. They had been married for 17 months.


Man Accuses Paula Abdul of Hit and Run

"American Idol" judge Paula Abdul has been caught in a real-life hit and run investigation involving her Mercedes. Sources say, it all happened on a busy Los Angeles freeway at 7:40 a.m. on the Monday before Christmas. Officials say a driver claims Abdul's Mercedes struck his car, and allegedly kept on driving.

Paula wasn't available for comment on Thursday; her publicist told "CJ" she was flying to Malaysia. About the alleged hit and run, the publicist said, "I don't know anything about it."

The story first broke on a Web site called "Ron Fineman's 'On the Record,'" but "CJ" has learned even more details. Sources tell us that nobody was hurt in the incident, and we're told the driver of the other car took a picture with a camera phone and also that the passenger identified Paula. The driver contacted the California Highway Patrol the next day.

Paula told the Highway Patrol it could not have been her because her car was in the shop the day of the incident, but the CHP discovered -- and "CJ" has confirmed -- that Paula actually took her car to a Mercedes dealer the next day. Sources tell us she told the service department that her car died on the freeway. The shop did a routine maintenance check.

"Hit and run" is a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail.

Paula has not been charged, but we're told the city attorney is taking the case, "very seriously," and a decision will be made Friday.

Prosecutors Mulling Hit-And-Run Charges Against Paula Abdul

'American Idol' star's car involved in December freeway accident.

Simon Cowell's constant ribbing may soon be the least of nontoxic "American Idol" judge Paula Abdul's problems.

According to The Associated Press, Los Angeles prosecutors are contemplating whether to file misdemeanor criminal charges against the singer for her alleged role in an apparent hit-and-run accident last December on a California freeway.

Frank Mateljan, a spokesman for the city attorney's office, told reporters that a Mercedes-Benz registered to the "Cold Hearted" Abdul clipped another car December 20 on the eastbound Hollywood Freeway, which runs through the San Fernando Valley. The person driving the Benz, who has not actually been identified as Abdul, changed lanes without looking, striking the aforementioned vehicle. Mateljan said the luxury German automobile continued to "Rush, Rush" on its way, the driver never pulling over to exchange information.

The AP report says the driver and passenger in the vehicle Abdul's car hit used their camera phones to snap a shot of the offending Benz as it sped off. Police then traced the plate back to the singer. According to Mateljan, no one was hurt in the collision, though both Abdul's driving and criminal records may suffer a few bruises.

Any charges against Abdul will be filed before the weekend. The AP tried contacting Abdul for comment, but the diminutive FOX star and former Lakers cheerleader was traveling abroad, according to her publicist Stephanie Sher.

'Idol' Fans Notice Paula's Finally Tellin' It Straight Up

Reality show judge has transformed from soft-spoken to outspoken. Part of Paula Abdul's appeal the first time around was her evolution, from Laker Girl to choreographer to pop star, so it's fitting that almost two decades later she's doing it again.

In her four seasons on "American Idol," the once soft-spoken and sweet judge who found
something to praise in every performance has transformed into an outspoken and opinionated authority who has no problem chastising a struggling singer or fighting with the other judges to push forward a favorite.

Paula's evolution, which peaked last week when she nearly walked out of the auditions over a disagreement with fellow judges Simon Cowell and Randy Jackson, has been so blatant in recent weeks that it's become the talk of the show.

"Paula is feisty this year; I like it," last season's runner-up, Diana DeGarmo, commented.

"It's good to see her coming out of her shell," second season winner Ruben Studdard said.

"We talk about this journey that the kids go on, but the judges have certainly done that too, especially Paula," co-executive producer Nigel Lythgoe warned at the start of the season. "Paula's very mouthy this year and she speaks up for herself."

So what's caused the change?

"There's only so much of Simon that I'm gonna take," Abdul said over the weekend. "And actually, I've always been passionate and fighting for people, but I get edited out. I'm glad they're leaving some of that in."

Producers say they're showing more of Paula's passionate rants, good and bad, simply because there are more of them.

"The truth of the matter is because she is more familiar with [Simon and Randy] and she's more familiar with the situation, she's more comfortable with her own opinion than she's ever been before," co-executive producer Ken Warwick said. "Basically, she isn't going to take any bull from either of them anymore, and I have to say, from the program's point of view, we love it. Good for her. Give them as much as they give. ... As long as she doesn't start swearing and doing any costume malfunctions, I'm quite happy."

Warwick is pleased to see Paula evolve (and even happier that the ratings have gone up as she's become feistier), but he insists he's not encouraging her.

"We are constantly accused of manipulating the situation to make them more spicy, and the truth is ... what she's saying is heartfelt, it's honest, it's straight, it's true," Warwick said. "The only thing I have to say [to the judges] is: Whatever you say, however you react and whatever you do has got to be genuine, because you ain't fooling anybody. If backstage we said, 'Let's have her freak out this week,' it wouldn't work, partly because Simon is the worst actor in the universe, as you've probably seen."

Part of Paula's transformation also has to do with the success of "American Idol." Four years ago, she was almost entirely out of the spotlight, writing songs for other artists like Kylie Minogue. Now she's everywhere, recording her long-awaited follow-up to 1995's Head Over Heels, making jewelry and developing other TV shows.

"It's put Paula back on the map, this program," Warwick said. "So she's obviously going to stick with it, and it's a question of whether you like it or [not], and she actually genuinely does like the job. She is now more than ever good at the job. And that relationship [with the other judges] is just a natural progression. It's just like any other relationship anybody has with someone they work with. ... And like most relationships, the longer you're in them, the more you become your own person, and that's basically what happened to her here."

Randy considers the judges a family — "one big, dysfunctional family," that is — but he's not so sure Paula's personality has changed because she likes the gig.

"If you look from the first season to this one, I think both Paula and I have gotten a little tougher because you get a little tired of it," he said. "Listen, sometimes we really hit it and sometimes we get on each other's nerves, because as you can tell, you get somewhat irritated with people singing all day. You sit there for 12 or 14 hours a day, you see 200 people and you just go, 'Oh my God!' I just want to run out and scream or punch myself or something."

Cowell's Fellow Judges Fear For Their Lives

SIMON COWELL's fellow AMERICAN IDOL judges are terrified his acid-tongued comments will get them shot by angry contestants.

Extra security features have already been installed to reduce the risk of fatalities during the current auditions for the second series of Cowell's hit reality TV show.

Fellow judge PAULA ABDUL says, "Do you think I want to get shot? We have security in the room that are standing by. Sometimes, when we don't think that they may be a little harmful, the security men are kinda edging towards getting the kids out of the door before we can even dismiss them."


Paula Abdul plans a comeback in music

Spending three seasons watching thousands of wanna-bes warble their way toward attempted singing stardom can make anyone a bit restless. But with the fourth season of Fox's "American Idol" under way, Paula Abdul -- the so-called nice judge of the often brutal talent competition -- is getting anxious for another reason altogether.

"I miss my art," Abdul sighs as she looks out the window, looking like a classic '50s sweetheart, right down to her flowery, flared-out dress. "The great part about who I am is, I came into this business as a facilitator. I was a world-class choreographer. ... I've always been able to help mold (other people) into their greatness. "But there is a whole other hat that I wear as a performer that I need to infuse a little bit of energy into, so I've made a conscientious decision that after this season, I have to take some time to be mindful of my own craft."

When Abdul refers to her craft, she's talking about her time as a singing sensation. More than a decade before "American Idol" became a pop-culture phenomenon, she was the real thing, segueing from a career as a top choreographer for Janet Jackson, the Laker Girls and the Academy Awards to one as a chart-topping entertainer. Among her No. 1 hits, mostly pop and R&B tunes, were songs such as "Straight Up" and "Forever Your Girl." Her catchy hits, along with her fast-paced, drop-on-a-dime dance moves, made her a dazzling video artist, while her girl-next-door persona made her a media darling. She even had a celebrity marriage to Emilio Estevez. (It ended in divorce, as did a subsequent marriage.)

But her time on top of the music charts was relatively short. Her albums, "Forever Your Girl" in 1988 and 1991's "Spellbound" sold millions, but by the time "Head Over Heels" came out in 1995, the music world was over Abdul. Her singing career faded but Abdul didn't go away. The 42-year-old laughs at the suggestion that she wasn't up to much before "Idol": She continued to choreograph (including in movies such as the Oscar-winning "American Beauty"). She ran her own dance camps and competitions for youth. and she even wrote songs for others.

"I'm responsible for helping Kylie Minogue come back," she says. Abdul cowrote "Spinning Around" for the dance music star in 2000. "She couldn't get signed to a worldwide deal. ... She entered for the first time ever on the U.K. charts No. 1 on a song I wrote." Still, for many, Abdul had drifted into the "Whatever Happened to ..." category until her incarnation as part of the judging trio on "American Idol." Her "let 'em down easy" approach to the horrid tryouts became the perfect balance against the viciousness of Simon Cowell and her motherly guidance of the show's true talent endeared her to contestants and the audience.

"I think people knew me as a celebrity, as a pop star, as the famous choreographer. This show has done an amazing thing. It's reacquainting my fans with Paula the human being, and guess what? Everybody get over it -- Paula's a nice person."


Paula Abdul wants to be a sitcom star!

After appearing with Julia Roberts' brother Eric in his show 'Less Than Perfect' former pop star Paula Abdul is now all set to test her luck as a sitcom star.

In the sitcom to be aired this week, Abdul plays Roberts' girlfriend, and admits it was a far more pleasant experience than her role as a judge on American Idol.

"If I had my wish for any other job, I would want to have a job like that. I had a blast, and everyone was so fun and easygoing. They have such fun on their set. It's not how it is on American Idol, with the tension and stress. Live TV, you know, it's crazy," femalefirst quoted Abdul as saying.

Paula Abdul may reenter Music

Paula Abdul the nice judge in the American Idol programme which is aired on FOX seems to be getting restless. After completing three seasons of the hit talent search programme, watching people show their talent and reaching stardom who could blame her.

“I miss my art,” Abdul sighs as she looks out the window, looking like a classic ’50s sweetheart, right down to her flowery, flared-out dress. “The great part about who I am is, I came into this business as a facilitator. I was a world-class choreographer. … I’ve always been able to help mold (other people) into their greatness.

“But there is a whole other hat that I wear as a performer that I need to infuse a little bit of energy into, so I’ve made a conscientious decision that after this season, I have to take some time to be mindful of my own craft.”

Abdul’s craft as she refers it is the singing sensation she was some time back. More than a decade before “American Idol” became a pop-culture phenomenon, she was the real thing, segueing from a career as a top choreographer for Janet Jackson, the Laker Girls and the Academy Awards to one as a chart-topping entertainer. Among her No. 1 hits, mostly pop and R&B tunes, were songs such as “Straight Up” and “Forever Your Girl.”

But her time on top of the music charts was relatively short. Her albums, “Forever Your Girl” in 1988 and 1991’s “Spellbound” sold millions, but by the time “Head Over Heels” came out in 1995, the music world was over Abdul.

“I’m responsible for helping Kylie Minogue come back,” she says. Abdul cowrote “Spinning Around” for the dance music star in 2000. “She couldn’t get signed to a worldwide deal. … She entered for the first time ever on the U.K. charts No. 1 on a song I wrote.”


Cowell's New Enemy Speaks Out

TV's Mr Nasty SIMON COWELL has a new American enemy in advertising bigwig-turned-TV host DONNIE DEUTSCH.

Deutsch delivered a rant about Cowell when he had his fellow AMERICAN IDOL judge PAULA ABDUL on his chat show, THE BIG IDEA on Wednesday (26JAN05).

He blasted, "I wanna kick his butt... He's just too much. There's something about the guy.

"I think he can accomplish what he wants, you just don't have to be that mean. It's painful to watch."

Adbul agreed, "(He makes me) break out in rashes. I have creams for that now."

Simon Cowell's furious bust-up Paula Abdul!

Simon Cowell had a furious bust-up with fellow judge Paula Abdul on the latest episode of 'American Idol' - before she stormed out of an audition.

The music mogul repeatedly clashed with Abdul after he left a host of pop hopefuls devastated with a series of cruel jibes about their performances.

Eventually the 80s pop star branded Simon - who has been dubbed Mr Nasty because of his vicious put-downs - a "jerk" before storming off the set, in New Orleans.

After Abdul walked off, the music guru was left red-faced as he sat next to Kiss rocker Gene Simmons - who is also a judge on the panel.

Only last week, Simon was branded an "a**" by Abdul after he reduced a host of contestants to tears on the show.
The record producer was also punched by his fellow judge on the first episode of the hit TV talent show after he left one religious contestant - who told Simon she had been "singled out by God" to win the competition - devastated by telling her: "Trust me.

God did not want you to win this contest."

''American Idol'' back

Since its launch in the US three years ago, American Idol has become a global phenomenon that has captured the audience’s imagination. Sixty-five million votes were cast in the finale alone, making American Idol the number one show on US television last season.

Simon Cowell and Randy Jackson are back on the judges’ podium with their constructive remarks, witty banter and petty bickering while host Ryan Seacrest will once again oversee the proceedings.

Every season, tens of thousands of hopefuls from across the US audition aim for a shot at stardom and a chance to be the next American Idol. The show’s judges weed the competitors to a select group of semi-finalists, who sing their hearts out each week for the studio audience and the television viewers.

The judges have their say after every performance, but it’s the viewing public that determines who will advance to the next round of the competition and who will go home. Voting via telephone and text messaging begins immediately after each performance show, and the results are announced during the broadcast of the following episode.

Eventually the competition is narrowed down to two finalists who compete for a major recording contract and the American Idol title. Past winners Kelly, Ruben and Fantasia already have topped the charts while finalists such as Clay has gained fame and recognition as well.

Paula Abdul and 'American Idol' return

"American Idol" returns this week and most likely will bring controversy.

Again, people will say the voters have a bias toward singers who are young or cute or male or white.

But "guess what," says Randy Jackson, one of the show's judges. "Every season, I think, the right person was the winner."

Two of the three champions and one runner-up have leaped to huge success. Despite the show's flaws, talent seems to prevail.

"I don't care how bumpy the road was," Jackson says. "We got there."

Now the fourth season begins. It keeps the same judges (Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul and Jackson) and host (Ryan Seacrest). It has expanded the top age limit by two years, to 28.

The show returns with four hours (subject to change). A two-hour season premieres airs Tuesday, Jan. 18 at 8 p.m. And an additional two hours airs Wednesday, Jan. 19, beginning at 8 p.m.

They'll show the auditions, Jackson says, capturing the awful and the skilled. "The talent for this season is better than the first three years combined. (And) this year, it's the guys who are better."

That could be mere puffery, but Jackson was right a year ago, predicting a weak year for men and a strong one for women. "Idol" had a female final four.

When the show started, people expected it to follow the pattern set by the British version of "Idol." Young, female viewers would dominate the phone voting and the winner would be a cute guy.

By midway in the first season, Justin Guarini was pegged as the sure winner. "The majority of the (viewers) are female, enjoying his beautiful face," said one of the contestants, Christina Christian.

Then the surprises began. Guarini was the only male in the final four and Kelly Clarkson won big.

Guys did dominate the second year with Ruben Studdard edging Clay Aiken. The third year was all-female, with Fantasia Barrino's performance of "Summertime" pushing her to the top.

"I still think it was the best 'Idol' performance by anyone, any year," Jackson says. "She had the passion, the emotion. She was singing from the soul."

Clarkson and Barrino quickly topped record charts. From the second year, however, Aiken soared on the charts; Studdard didn't.

"Ruben is more of a laid-back guy," Jackson says.

Studdard has also moved away from the "velvet teddy bear" style that worked on the show. "Sometimes, you have to go back to who you are and what got you there," Jackson says.

Last year drew some loud complaints. When Jennifer Hudson and La Toya London were ousted, there were complaints of racial bias. When Jasmine Trias beat London, there were complaints that her Hawaiian fans had clear phone lines in a later time zone.

Tom Gutteridge, CEO of FremantleMedia North America, the British company that owns "Idol," says he ordered a study.

"We double-, triple-checked," Gutteridge says. "It was completely fair."

His conclusion? "Quite often ... the critics, including our own judges, don't actually reflect public taste at that moment."

There's another explanation: Cowell attacked Trias too harshly. She wept on the air, drew sympathy votes and stuck around.

"A lot of people stay too long," Jackson says. "John Stevens, God bless him, did. Jim Verraros, Jon Peter Lewis -- it happens."

And yes, Cowell can go too far.

In "I Don't Mean to Be Rude, But ..." (Broadway Books, $21.95), Cowell praised Jackson's musical savvy and his personality: "He could light up any room."

He also called him an incurable name-dropper. And he wrote that Jackson was genuinely enraged one night during the first season, when Cowell's criticism of young singers peaked: "He exploded. He was really mad ... it was like facing Mount Kilimanjaro, if mountains had bad moods."

Jackson agrees that he was seething at Cowell that night. "The problem is that he'd just come over from England and they are used to something different there."

The fight was settled and the judges get along. They've become rich and famous, while "American Idol" finds controversy and talent.

Paula Abdul keeps defying odds

Paula Abdul is taking a couple days of spa time, getting herself physically and mentally prepared for the giant work and promotional push she's about to make with the new season of "American Idol" kicking off Jan. 18 on Fox, her "Video Hits" DVD going into release Jan. 11, and the expansion of her Wal-Mart clothing line.
She's also taped a guesting on ABC's "Less Than Perfect" for airing during February sweeps, playing Eric Roberts' girlfriend, an art dealer. "She wants to show Owen Kronsky's fabulous pictures of deli sandwiches," reports Paula, referring to Andy Dick's character with a laugh. "It's about as ridiculous as it gets."

Paula's character was supposed to be a pretentious snob, but "me and snotty don't go together, no matter how you slice and dice it," acknowledges the multitalent known as "Idol's'" nice judge. "People don't buy me that way. They just don't like it. So I said, 'What if I'm ridiculously over-the-top snotty? Then people will know it's not Paula."

"'American Idol' has so defined me as a human being," she adds. "That's great. That lasts a lifetime, and I'm glad people got to know me that way. What's hard is now, when I want to move into acting, there's another hurdle."

Paula's game for the challenge, however. "It's always been this way, crossing over into different media," she observes. "I remember people saying, 'The Lakers cheerleader? How in the world would she be taken seriously as a choreographer?' And then it was, 'The choreographer is going to make an album? Oh, give me a break!' People always forget the last thing I did."

Abdul Spreads Good Vibes On American Idol Set

Former pop star PAULA ABDUL is confident the next season of AMERICAN IDOL will be an even greater success - because she's had the hit show's set feng shui'd.

The STRAIGHT UP singer, who is a judge on the show alongside SIMON COWELL and RANDY JACKSON, reportedly felt that the vibes on the set weren't quite right, so she called in an expert in the Chinese practice to help position things to create a more positive flow of energy.

An insider says, "Paula is a believer, and even had the furniture in her Hollywood Hills home rearranged by a feng shui expert."


Paula Abdul Reveals Her Painful Past

Pop star PAULA ABDUL is thrilled to have another chance at fame as a judge on AMERICAN IDOL because she once feared her career was over after a year of tragedy.

The STRAIGHT UP singer was forced to give up her pop career at the height of her success when she was hit with severe neck pain after two terrible accidents that happened within the same year.

She says, "I was hit by a drunk driver and I had a plane crash in the same year and it forced me to take a long break and nine neck surgeries - nobody knows that.

"There was a time where I couldn't talk. My vocal chords and my dancing pretty much were gone."

Abdul admits she kept the truth about her agony away from fans and the press because she didn't want anyone to feel sorry for her.

She adds, "I didn't want anyone to feel bad for me. I wanted to get through it."

Paula Abdul Splits From Boyfriend

Former '80s pop sensation PAULA ABDUL is single once again after breaking up with her boyfriend COLTON MELBY.

The AMERICAN IDOL judge, 41, was planning to move in with the 46-year-old president of gun manufacturer SMITH + WESSON HOLDING CORPORATION in Scottsdale, Arizona, just last week (ends16JAN04) - but the steamy romance has come to a sudden end.

A pal explains, "They were going to move in but something happened at the last minute. And now she looks miserable. Paula cried (to friends), 'I don't wanna talk about it!'"

Sources tell American magazine STAR they're optimistic the pair will get back together, as this isn't the first time they've gone their separate ways.

Paula Abdul's New Man 'Still Married'

Singer PAULA ABDUL's new gun-making beau COLTON MELBY is a married man.

AMERICAN IDOL host Abdul has been dating Colton - described in reports as a divorced businessman - for three months. And pals tell US tabloid the STAR that the fledging romance has killed any hopes MARYANN MELBY, his estranged wife of 14 years, had of their reconciliation.

A friend says, "Maryann is heartbroken. She still loves Colt. Even though he moved out in December 2001, she hoped he'd come back."

But after meeting Abdul in March (03), the publication reports the 45-year-old president of gun manufacturers SMITH + WESSON filed for divorce from Maryann on 24 April (03).

The pal continues, "Maryann never saw this coming. When Colt moved out, she asked him, 'Is this the end?' Colt told her, 'Don't file for divorce.'

"Out of the blue, Colt filed for divorce 18 months later. Then Maryann hears about articles saying Paula's been dating 'divorced' businessman Colton Melby since late March.

"She's distraught. Not only is Colt seeing another woman, he's callously living a lie, because he's still married."

Paula Abdul Parts With Business Pal

''American Idol' judge PAULA ABDUL has split from her business partner - because the former singer had become "impossible" to work with.

The one-time STRAIGHT UP hitmaker teamed up with jewellery designer UDI BEHR to create a special collection of gems to be sold through Paula's website, but he's now quit after tiring of her alleged "tantrums".

Udi fumes, "It got to the point where she was impossible to deal with. I got all these frantic phone calls regarding tiny changes. When she heard the word 'No' she had a tantrum.

"I've designed jewellery for many stars and I've never dealt with this kind of behaviour."

Paula Abdul Wets Herself!

Former pop icon PAULA ABDUL is fearful whenever she's in the presence of a funny person - because she often wets herself when she laughs.

The 41-year-old AMERICAN IDOL judge admits she has a habit of losing control of her bladder whenever she's amused - and it's left her with many embarrassing memories.

She tells American magazine TEEN PEOPLE, "When I laugh sometimes, I pee in my pants - in restaurant booths and basketball games.

"One time I was on THE ARSENIO HALL SHOW and I peed on his couch. I've known him since I was 17 years old!"

Abdul Gets Drag Queen Honour

Former pop icon PAULA ABDUL was given an unusual treat when she appeared on JAY LENO's chat show last night (10MAY04) - a tribute performance from a trio of drag queens.

Abdul - who featured on Leno's show in Las Vegas with her fellow AMERICAN IDOL judges SIMON COWELL and RANDY JACKSON - was treated to performances from three of her cross-dressing fans, who each mimed and danced their way through her hits COLD HEARTED, FOREVER YOUR GIRL and STRAIGHT UP.

A stunned Abdul said at the end of the bizarre tribute, "I'm speechless! I'm stealing those moves back. That was great."



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