The American Idol judge tells OK! Magazine that she takes four prescription medications as a result of a 1993 emergency plane landing and 1987 car crash. After the plane crash, she says, “I quit my career. For the next six years, I spent 75% of my time in the hospital. I was also hit by a drunk driver on the freeway after an L.A. Lakers game in 1987, which is when I started getting severe neck pains. I have four titanium plates in my neck. I’ve had 14 surgeries over the years.”
As a result, Paula takes several prescription drugs. “I inject myself with a shot of Humira every two weeks. … I also use Enbrel and Relafen [an anti-inflammatory drug] and the painkiller Lidocaine. If I appear exhausted on television, it’s because I am! I have a lot of sleepless nights because I’m in so much pain. I was taking far more medication on earlier seasons, and nobody said anything,” she tells the magazine, according to The New York Daily News’ Rush and Molloy.
In the same OK! interview, she calls talk that she’s drunk “defamation of character,” according to the AP, and says, “If I appear exhausted on television, it’s because I am! I have a lot of sleepless nights because I’m in so much pain. … I try to say something and I stumble, and that’s what people have picked up on. I’m not polished.”