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Sacha Baron Cohen scars Paula Abdul for life

American Idol judge traumatised by Bruno interview

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American Idol judge Paula Abdul has described herself as "scarred for life" by a Sacha Baron Cohen set-up which saw her interviewed from the comfort of two Mexican gardeners by the Brit comedian's alter ego Bruno.

Abdul was last year duped into believing she was to be interviewed by a German TV crew "after winning an artist of the year award for her singing", the Telegraph explains. In fact, she was destined to be stitched up like a kipper by Cohen.

She told the Johnjay and Rich Show: "I walk in and I'm greeted by this futuristic Captain Nemo-looking dude with a mohawk, and he's flaming. I'm going, 'Oh, ok, this is going to be like one of those Japanese game shows'.

"There's no furniture except for a chair. This guy Bruno introduces himself and he goes, 'I'm sorry there's no furniture'. He yells, 'Gardeners!', snaps his fingers and these two Mexican guys come in, and they drop down on all fours. I see him paying them, like, 10 bucks. He goes, 'Sit there. Don't be nice to them - just sit'.

"And I'm so embarrassed and I'm holding my core muscles so as not to sit on them, and he pushes me down on them. "These two Mexican gardeners don't speak a word of English and I'm patting their backs and going, 'I'm so sorry'. It was really uncomfortable. And he kicks one of them and we all fall.

"I'm throwing daggers with my eyes at my publicist and saying, 'Get me out of here, this is crazy, this is not funny, this is discrimination and abusive stuff going on'. I just wanted out, this was too weird."

Bruno's request that Abdul throw herself at a Velcro wall finally proved too much for the poor girl, and she attempted to beat a retreat. She recounted: "I'm trying to hold a smile on my face and Bruno is running down the street in front of my car. It was hysterical but so disturbing."

Remarkably, Abdul didn't realise she'd been had until three weeks ago, when a magazine called to ask about her cameo role in the movie. She said: "At two o'clock in the morning that night I woke up in a cold sweat, popped my body up out of bed and went, 'Oh my God.'"

Abdul concluded that the publicist who'd signed the release form for the improvised Mexican bench interview "no longer works for me". ®

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