Abdul on Fan Suicide: 'Been a Very Tough Three Weeks for Me'

Paula Abdul says contestant suicide "tragic," but judges won't ease criticism.

ByABC News via logo
December 8, 2008, 9:42 AM

Dec. 8, 2008 — -- Paula Abdul spoke out today for the first time about the death of Paula Goodspeed, an "American Idol" hopeful turned stalker who was found dead from an apparent drug overdose in a car outside Abdul's Los Angeles home.

"It was devastating and tragic, and there aren't enough feelings that I can articulate without getting into a whole plethora of things," Abdul said in an exclusive interview today on "Good Morning America."

"I've got to tell you, luckily for me, I was at Hollywood week for 'American Idol' when it happened. I can't even imagine if I was right there in my home. It's just been a very, very tough three weeks for me ... and for her family and for everyone involved."

Goodspeed, 30, was found dead Nov. 11 of an apparent suicide. Police said that prescription pills, along with CDs and pictures of Abdul were found in the car.

Goodspeed auditioned for "American Idol" in 2005 and her off-key rendition of "Proud Mary" was ridiculed by judges. Abdul said after the song that she was "speechless" and "that's not a great thing."

"Idol" judge Simon Cowell made fun of Goodspeed's braces. "I don't think any artist on Earth can sing with that much metal in your mouth anyway. You have so much metal in your mouth. That's like a bridge."

Goodspeed's death reignited the debate over whether the judging on "American Idol" can be too harsh.

When asked today on "GMA" whether she thought the judging on the show should be "rethought," Abdul said, "I don't think Simon Cowell will rethink anything. He's a man that marches to the beat of his own drum."

During that same audition, Cowell also said he saw a resemblance between Goodspeed and her idol Abdul.

"There's a similarity here," Cowell said. "More than just the name."

"I see it definitely," Abdul said.

Today Abdul said that was Cowell's way of piling on.

"It's the typical brother thing that we have. He would say, 'The uncanny resemblance between the two of you,' and just egg it on and egg it on. But what people don't realize, this was a serious, serious situation."