NEW YORK (Reuters) - “American Idol” judge Paula Abdul canceled media interviews on Friday as an online video emerged of the television star slurring and gesticulating her way through a TV interview a day earlier.
Some viewers of the footage posted on the popular online video site YouTube.com suggested she should head into rehab because it appeared she had been drinking.
But Abdul’s spokesman, Jeff Ballard, denied that was under the influence of alcohol or on some kind of medication and said the U.S. performer never drank.
Ballard said the interview was one of the last in a string of question-and-answer sessions she had done over two hours on Thursday ahead of a new season of “American Idol,” debuting next week on the Fox network.
“She was exhausted. This was at the end of three days of press (interviews and appearances), and she has had cameras following her around for a reality TV show too,” said Ballard, referring to a new documentary series about the star’s life.
“She was sitting in a room with just a camera and a mic on, and the controllers dropped the sound twice, which is why she rolled her eyes.”
Ballard said Abdul, 44, had canceled all media interviews on Friday because she had a sore throat after sitting in the chilly studio on Thursday.
“She never drinks. I have known Paula Abdul since she was 13, and I have never seen her drink ever in my life. ... And no, she is not on any kind of medication,” he said. “She was a little tired.”
Abdul, a former Los Angeles Lakers cheerleader who gained fame in the late 1980s as a pop singer with such hits as “Straight Up,” has been known for emotional displays on “American Idol.”
In a 2005 People magazine interview, she denied having a drug problem, saying, “I‘m not addicted to pills of any kind.”
She went on to explain that she suffers from a neurological disorder that causes chronic pain and requires a weekly injection of an anti-inflammatory drug.