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WORD OF MOUTH

Paula Abdul recalls debilitating plane accident

/ 12:20 AM October 23, 2018

Paula Abdul

Paula Abdul said she considered herself lucky that the internet didn’t exist in 1992. Otherwise, she probably wouldn’t have been able to “privately” cope with the aftermath of the career-threatening plane accident she figured in back then.

“I went through all of that mostly privately,” the pop star said of the injuries she suffered, after the private jet she was on made an emergency landing when one of its engines caught fire. She bumped her head on the ceiling, which caused paralysis on the right side of her body.

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She had to undergo 15 cervical spinal surgeries. “At the time, we didn’t have tabloids like we do now. We didn’t have the extent of paparazzi or the internet, so we were able to ‘contain’ some information,” she told columnist Allison Kugel.

“I was so afraid of being counted out and looked at as damaged goods. The problem was that, at the time, I was. I ended up having to take almost seven years off to have all these different neurosurgeons operating on me,” recalled Paula, who came back in 2002 as a judge in “American Idol.”

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Today, she’s “in many ways, living her dreams.” She would love to expand her resume and produce television shows and films. “I want to branch out into other areas. And I get as much joy behind the scenes as I do from being out in front,” she said. —ALLAN POLICARPIO

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