Thursday, November 13, 2008

Obsessed fan found dead near 'American Idol' judge's L.A. home

LOS ANGELES – A woman who once tried out for top-rated television show "American Idol" and appears to have been an obsessed fan of judge Paula Abdul has been found dead of an apparent suicide near the pop star's home.

Police said they discovered the body of Paula Goodspeed, 30, in a car near Abdul's Los Angeles home on Tuesday night.

"It appears to be a suicide by overdose," said Detective Robert Bub of the Los Angeles Police Department.

Investigators found prescription drugs in Goodspeed's car, along with Abdul CDs and pictures of the pop singer, Bub said.

Abdul said in a statement that she was "deeply shocked and saddened" by Goodspeed's death, and that her "heart and prayers go out to her family."

In 2005, Goodspeed auditioned for "American Idol," which lures about 30 million viewers per week, and said on the program that she had long been a fan of Abdul and had made life-size drawings of the pop star since childhood.

Goodspeed sang the Tina Turner hit song "Proud Mary," but the judges all gave her bad reviews, with Simon Cowell calling attention to braces in her mouth and saying he did not know how anyone could sing with "that much metal."

Goodspeed was from a suburb northwest of Los Angeles, and a close relative had reported her missing to local authorities, said Capt. Ross Bonfiglio, a spokesman for the Ventura County Sheriff's Department.

She showed "a fixation, an obsession -- whatever you want -- with Paula Abdul," and had a history of mental illness, Bonfiglio said. The relative who reported her missing told authorities Goodspeed could try to overdose, he said.

Abdul, a pop singer, has been a judge on the reality talent show "American Idol" since its first season in 2002.

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