Paula Abdul’s life – chronic pain, death outside home, American Idol ‘affair’

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Paula Abdul is a living legend.

The pop icon and American Idol judge was born in San Fernando, California to parents Harry and Lorraine Abdul.

She began taking dance lessons at the age of eight and became a choreographer for Michael Jackson's 1984 Torture music video before turning her hand to a music career.

With the success of her blockbuster single Straight Up, Paula was thrown into the public spotlight where she has remained ever since.

She cemented her celebrity status by joining the original American Idol judging panel in 2001 alongside Simon Cowell and Randy Jackson.

As she turns 60, Daily Star takes a closer look inside her life.

Chronic pain

Before kickstarting the choreography career which would springboard her to fame, Paula was a cheerleader for the Los Angeles Lakers.

This followed her career as a high-school cheerleader, where Paula sustained a serious neck injury by slipping a disc aged 17.

After struggling with chronic pain throughout the nineties, Paula was diagnosed with Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy in 2004 and began taking the drug Enbrel.

Speaking about the positive effect which her diagnosis and drug treatment had had, Paula previously told Entertainment Tonight: "I'm dancing for joy at the fact that not even a year ago, I was in so much pain I could barely get up."

Woman dead outside home

Paula's LA home became the centre of a suspicious death in November 2008.

The twice-divorced star was left "deeply shocked and saddened" when former American Idol contestant Paula Goodspeed was found dead in her own car outside of her house.

The young woman had auditioned for American Idol three years before and was a self-proclaimed Paula Abdul super-fan, having changed her own first name to match the singer's.

It was later confirmed that Goodspeed had died from suicide by overdose, with the police having previously suspected her of stalking Paula (via The Associated Press).

Speaking about Goodspeed's death, Paula later revealed that she had begged American Idols not to let her audition for the show after recognising her name.

She claimed Goodspeed had written her "disturbing letters" over the previous 18 years and told Rolling Stone: "I said, 'This girl is a stalker of mine. Please do not let her in.'

"Everyone knew. I was shaking."

American Idol 'affair'

Paula has always denied having an affair with disqualified American Idol contestant Corey Clark.

However, that hasn't stopped Corey from revealing supposed details about their alleged liaisons under oath.

The axed contestant filed a lawsuit against the US television network E! over an E! True Hollywood Story based on Paula's life.

Clark complained that an updated version of the special which aired in 2005 'gave the impression' that he was lying about his claims of a sexual relationship with the judge.

Stated in court documents, it reads: "Clark now alleges that the updated [programme] treated him unfairly in that it left viewers with the impression that he was not telling the truth when he alleged he had a sexual relationship with Abdul."

In his lawsuit, Clark also stated that he was "unfairly characterized" by claims he was disqualified by producers based on his previous criminal record.

While speaking under oath, Clark also suggested he had enjoyed "doggy-style" sex with Paula and said she "shaved" her private parts.

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