LOS ANGELES – A leaked audio tape in which Paula Abdul can be heard sobbing and bad-mouthing a former spokesman has made its way to the Internet.
In what appears to be a recent conference call with a group of publicists, the "American Idol" judge rails against Howard Bragman and discusses her various health problems.
The conversation, first reported Thursday by the New York Post's Page Six, has Abdul saying she'd "been going through tremendous amounts of a difficult time" and had "never been treated this way."
Gossip Web site PerezHilton.com later posted an audio tape of the conversation. A man is heard responding, "You're going to be treated much better right now."
Abdul claims Bragman "did some disgusting behavior" by failing to accompany her when she appeared on ABC's "Jimmy Kimmel Live" last month.
Abdul, 44, also says Bragman told her she was "too old" to appear on the cover of OK! magazine, which has an interview with her in its latest issue.
The lack of respect, she says, "is too much to stomach."
Bragman told The Associated Press in a phone conversation Friday that he hadn't discouraged Abdul from shooting the magazine cover because of her age.
He also confirmed a story posted Thursday on celebrity Web site TMZ.com that said Abdul had told him not to attend the Kimmel taping, then later had an assistant call and ask him where he was.
Bragman declined to comment on how long he had worked for Abdul or when he had stopped working for her.
The AP was attempting Friday to reach a publicist for Abdul.
In a statement posted Thursday on TMZ, the singer-dancer said she was "deeply hurt and extremely disappointed" that the call went public.
"This is not only illegal but also highly unethical," Abdul said. "While I don't feel a need to justify or explain my conversation, even as a public figure I do feel my privacy has been violated and find this action to be unacceptable."
Her reality show, "Hey Paula," premieres June 28 on Bravo. It follows Abdul as she films a new season of Fox network's "American Idol" and develops her own perfume and cosmetics line. The show also promises to feature Abdul playing practical jokes on her assistants and show how her lack of sleep makes her loopy.