People News

Fan of Paula Abdul found dead near TV star's home

Paula Abdul speaks on stage during the taping of the 2008 "NCLR Alma" awards at the Civic Auditorium in Pasadena, California, August 17, 2008. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A woman who once tried out for top-rated television show “American Idol” and appears to have been an obsessed fan of judge Paula Abdul has been found dead of an apparent suicide near the pop star’s home.

Police said they discovered the body of Paula Goodspeed, 30, in a car near Abdul’s Los Angeles home on Tuesday night.

“It appears to be a suicide by overdose,” said Detective Robert Bub of the Los Angeles Police Department.

Investigators found prescription drugs in Goodspeed’s car, along with Abdul CDs and pictures of the pop singer, Bub said.

Jeff Ballard, a representative for Abdul, told celebrity TV show “Entertainment Tonight” that Abdul was “shocked and saddened” by the woman’s death. Ballard said Abdul and her staff have known about the woman for several years.

In 2005, Goodspeed auditioned for “American Idol,” which lures about 30 million viewers per week, and said on the program that she had long been a fan of Abdul and had made life-size drawings of the pop star since childhood.

Goodspeed sang the Tina Turner hit song “Proud Mary,” but the judges all gave her bad reviews, with Simon Cowell calling attention to braces in her mouth and saying he did not know how anyone could sing with “that much metal.”

Goodspeed was from a suburb northwest of Los Angeles, and her relatives had reported her missing to local authorities.

Abdul, a pop singer, has been a judge on the reality talent show “American Idol” since its first season in 2002.

Editing by Bob Tourtellotte