Paula Abdul Defends Supposedly Drunken Antics

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We've all seen the interview footage at this point - as well as watched her during American Idol auditions.

But now Paula Abdul is sticking up for her sober self. She held a press conference Saturday to explain recent, odd behavior.

“I’ve never been drunk,” she told television journalists at the panel discussion in Pasadena, California. “I’m not under the influence of anything.

The 44-year-old American Idol judge has given several recent television interviews in which she exhibited slurred speech and even appeared to fall asleep mid-questioning.

The issue isn't new.

On an episode of American Idol last March, when asked about one contestant’s elimination, she responded randomly with: “Simon says because one of them ate pizza and the other one ate salad.”

During the same broadcast, she uttered a mixed metaphor involving a moth and a melon, prompting fellow judge Randy Jackson to ask what she had been drinking.

While Abdul said it’s in her nature to make fun of herself, she assured reporters that she takes her position as a public figure seriously.

“I’m doing my job and having fun,” she said. “Although I might not take myself seriously, there are young girls watching me, and I know I’m a role model. I’ve been a teacher, and the fact that some of them would look up to me and want to be the next choreographer or the next singer, I would not violate that trust.”

Matt Richenthal is the Editor in Chief of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter and on Google+.