Paula Abdul Realizes ‘Wacked-Out’ Interview Was A ‘Bruno’ Prank

'It was hysterical, but it was so disturbing,' she recalls of fake meeting with Sacha Baron Cohen character.

When Sacha Baron Cohen hits theaters in July as a flamboyant Austrian fashion reporter in “Brüno,” one appearance might come as a surprise to moviegoers — and it almost got past the “American Idol” judge who makes the unwitting cameo.

Paula Abdul told the “Johnjay and Rich” radio show Thursday (April 30) that about a year ago, she was contacted to tape a segment for a German award she had won, according to New York Magazine. It wasn’t until later that she realized she hadn’t won any award but was instead set up by the upcoming flick.

“It is the most interesting, wacked-out situation that happened to me,” she said. “I was scarred for my life for a year. I walk into the home, and I’m greeted by this futuristic Captain Nemo-looking dude with a Mohawk — and he’s flaming. And I’m going, ‘Oh, this is going to be one of those fun Japanese game shows.’ I’m like, ‘OK, this is weird.’ ”

Abdul also recalled Cohen — in character as Brüno — calling two men into the room and making her sit on them. “He says, ‘Sorry, there’s no furniture.’ And he snaps his fingers and says, ‘Gardeners!’ 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.’ ”

It only got more awkward from there, she said. “He kicked one of them, and we all fall. It was getting so uncomfortable, and I’m throwing daggers with my eyes at my publicist. I said, ‘No, I won’t be doing that. I have to go to work. … And by the way, where’s my award?’ And I’m trying to hold a smile on my face, and … Brüno’s running down the street in front of the car. It was hysterical, but it was so disturbing.’

Abdul didn’t realize what had really happened until she was lying in bed one night and pieced it together. “Three weeks ago, my manager sends over something,” she said. “He says, ‘I have no idea what this is. … People magazine wants to know how it feels to be totally punked by Sacha Baron Cohen.’ And I said, ‘I’ve never done anything with Sacha Cohen.’ And at two 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.”

Check out everything we’ve got on “Brüno.”

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