Paula Abdul Admits to Being Tricked by Sacha Baron Cohen

Paula got punk'd. In an interview on 104.7 FM's Johnjay and Rich Show, the American Idol judge, 46, admits she fell for one of Sacha Baron Cohen's pranks in his upcoming film Bruno. (Cohen plays flamboyantly gay Austrian in the comedy, out July 10.) Abdul says she received a call that she had won "Artist of the Year" in Germany. When she arrived for a sit-down, "I'm greeted by this futuristic, Captain Nemo–looking dude with a mohawk — and he's flaming," recalls Abdul, who said she never signed a release (her publicist did). "I'm like, 'OK, this is weird. Is this a variety show or something like that?'" she went on.

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"So I walk in and there was no furniture except for a chair. And I'm waiting and waiting," she continued. "And this guy Bruno introduces himself, and I said, 'Hi.' And he said, 'Here, have some food.' And the food looked horrible! And I said, 'No, I'm fine.' And he said, 'It's very, very, very good.' I said, 'That's Ok, I don't want to have it.'" Abdul said Bruno then apologized for not having furniture for the interview. "He snaps his fingers and says, 'Gardeners!'" she recalled. "And these two Mexican guys come in, and they drop down to all fours. I see him paying them like 10 bucks. They drop down to all fours and he says [to me], 'Sit down.'" And I said, 'I'm not doing that!'"

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After all, Abdul said, she was in a dress. "So I'm tipping and holding my core muscles to not sit on them. And he pushes me down on them, and I'm like, 'I'm sorry!'" she said. It got even more bizarre, Abdul said, when he kicked one of them and they all fell on the ground. "It was getting so uncomfortable!" she said. "I'm throwing daggers with my eyes at my publicist. And they're kicking my publicist out. And I said, 'Get me out of here. This is crazy. This is not funny, this is discrimination. This is abusive stuff going on here!'"

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"And he says, 'I need you to change your clothes,' and I said, 'No, I won't be doing that. I have to go to work … And by the way, where's my award?" Abdul – who had to go to an Idol taping – then dashed out. "As I'm going to my car, they're chasing me with cameras," she said. "And I'm like, 'Oh God, this is so awkward.' And I'm trying to hold a smile on my face and the guy, Bruno, is running down the street in front of the car." "It was hysterical, but it was so disturbing," added Abdul. "I was so mad at my publicist at that point. I said, 'I can't believe you signed [the release].' And my manager and attorney were trying to call the production office — and, of course, it doesn't exist. So I was freaking out." A year went by, she said. Then, her manager got a call three weeks ago from a reporter who heard that she had fallen for one of Sacha Baron Cohen's stunts. "I said, 'I've never done anything with Sacha Cohen … they're wrong!'" she said. "At 2 o'clock in the morning that night, I woke up in a cold sweat. I popped my body up out of bed and I went, 'Holy crap! Oh my God!' And that's what happened. And I'm dying. Cause you don't expect it. You just don't expect it."

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Added Abdul, "Like I said, I thought it was just one of those Japanese TV shows where they do crazy things."

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