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Stalker Victim Paula Abdul Needs More Time To Heal

While I’m usually a pretty regular American Idol viewer, I don’t normally get into the swing of things until the auditions are over and I can start obsessively punching redial to get a vote through for my favorite contestants.

Sure, I catch an audition episode here and there, but I can only handle watching so many poor souls set themselves up for such abuse and degradation before I’m overwhelmed by the need to just give someone a hug and vow never to watch the show again.

So, that’s why I’m just now touching on this. I missed the Louisville, Kentucky audition at which one failed auditionee, Mark Mudd, bid the judges a pretty innocent farewell – well, pretty innocent by some standards, though not quite innocent enough for Paula Abdul:

“You don’t say that to people, ‘Be careful,'” Abdul scolded.

Well, yes, Paula honey, here in Appalachia, we do. We say it a lot. To everyone. I’ve already said it twice today and it’s not even noon.

I don’t know who was quick to point out Abdul’s mistake, but fortunately the AI crew issued a public apology, though it seems to just be for viewers who were offended. I would have focused more on Mr. Mudd, but, that’s just me. Maybe they did at some point and I just haven’t seen it. Too, the apology seemed to be intent on getting some personal defense in: “We had not heard that phrase from any other contestants during the day […].” To me, that just means he deserves a nice “thank you,” too.

Of course, given everything Abdul’s been through regarding potentially dangerous fans, we can’t really blame her for being on edge, can we? I don’t think so. Paranoia probably runs pretty deep after an 18-year run of dealing with a stalking fan tragically ends in suicide. Combine that with unfamiliarity with the regional phrases and you’ve got a pretty honest mistake.

Last month I posted some resources for dealing with stalkers. Reading through those resources helps put into perspective a victim’s response to being stalked. Anxiety, stress, depression, self-blame, anger – these are all natural responses to being the victim of a stalker and it’s no surprise that any of them kicked into gear when Paula Abdul heard a stranger tell her to “be careful.”

Let’s hope that Abdul finds the tools she needs to work through those responses. It can’t be pleasant feeling that on-edge all the time.

Stalker Victim Paula Abdul Needs More Time To Heal

Alicia Sparks

Alicia Sparks is a freelance writer and editor and the creator of, where she blogs to help new freelance writers get their quills in the pot, so to speak. Among animal rights, music, and physical wellness, her passions include mental health and advocacy. Here at Psych Central she works as Syndication Editor as well as authors Your Body, Your Mind, Unleash Your Creativity, and World of Psychology's weekly "Psychology Around the Net."

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APA Reference
Sparks, A. (2009). Stalker Victim Paula Abdul Needs More Time To Heal. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 18, 2019, from


Last updated: 2 Feb 2009
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