Pop Culture

Was Paula Abdul asleep at the wheel?

Fans of Paula Abdul are concerned about the “American Idol” judge after her appearance on “Living It Up With Ali and Jack” this week.

“She was out of it,” says one source. “She was slit-eyed and slurring.” The insider says that Abdul actually seemed to nod off during the interview, though the source believes that the worst moments were edited out. The source also doesn’t think that Abdul was drunk or drugged. Says another source: “Paula’s said to have had the flu lately — she [reportedly] recently split with some guy — but I’m surprised they would let her go on the air like that.”

“She wasn’t feeling well,” says Abdul’s spokeswoman, “I didn’t see it, but she didn’t fall asleep. She just wasn’t feeling her best.”

“The interview went well,” insists a spokeswoman for “Living It Up.” When asked if some of Abdul’s more embarrassing moments were edited out, she said, “I can’t comment on that.”

Oscar odds

Focus Features / X80001
Actor Sean Penn is shown in a scene from the film "Mystic River" in this undated publicity photograph. Penn received an Academy Award nomination for best performance by an actor in a leading role, for his work in the film, as nominations were announced in Beverly Hills, January 27, 2004. The awards will be presented February 29, 2004 from Hollywood and telecast worldwide. NO SALES REUTERS/Focus Features/Handout

Oscar gamblers are already betting on their favorites for this year’s race.

Only minutes after the Oscar nominees were announced yesterday, BetWWTS.com — an offshore gaming company which claims to take in $1 billion a year in wagers — posted odds and started taking bets on who would win.

“Return of the King” is, predictably, the favorite to take Best Picture, with 2/7 odds, followed by “Lost In Translation” with 9/2; “Mystic River” 6/1; “Seabiscuit,” 15/1 and “Master and Commander, which is a long-shot at 25/1.

Sean Penn is favored to win Best Actor with 4/9 odds, followed by Bill Murray (3/1), Ben Kingsley (8/1), Johnny Depp (10/1) and Jude Law (18/1).

Charlize Theron is tops for Best Actress (2/5), followed by Diane Keaton (7/2), Naomi Watts (6/1), Samantha Morton (15/1), and Keisha Castle-Hughes (25/1).

Notes from all over

Carlo Allegri / Getty Images North America
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 25: (FILE PHOTO) Actor Johnny Depp attends the 61st Annual Golden Globe Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 25, 2004 in Beverly Hills, California. Depp was nominated for Best Actor in "Pirates of the Caribbean" for the 2004 Academy Awards January 27, 2004. (Photo by Carlo Allegri/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Johnny Depp

Academy Award nominee Johnny Depp did a better job of acting in “Pirates of the Caribbean” than most viewers realize. “He’s terribly afraid of heights,” says a source familiar with film’s production. “In some scenes he had to overcome it, some scenes they just had to shoot around it and accommodate his fear.” Depp’s rep didn’t return calls for comment, but according to published reports, Depp also has a morbid fear of clowns.  . . . Jennifer Lopez was so thrilled to hear that Natalie Portman likes her clothes that she sent her loads of freebies including a nifty velour tracksuit, according to Heat magazine.  . . . Jerry Hall seems to finally have gotten over that wrinkly rocker she used to be married to. “I don’t approve of [Mick Jagger’s] lifestyle,” the tall Texan told a Brit TV interviewer. “And we’re not very friendly at the moment, but we’re trying.”

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