The American Idol judge is fined $300 and sentenced to two years' probation

By Stephen M. Silverman
Updated March 25, 2005 08:00 AM

Paula Abdul was fined $300 and sentenced to two years’ probation on Thursday for side-swiping swiping a car on a Los Angeles freeway last December and then fleeing the scene, says a city official.

“Unbeknownst to Paula, there was some minor contact between the tire of her car and another vehicle on the roadway,” said a statement from her attorney, Neil E. Meyer. “Paula immediately took full responsibility.”

Abdul was not in court when Meyer entered the plea, city attorney’s spokesman Frank Mateljan said, adding that Abdul must also reimburse the other motorist $775 for the car damage.

According to Mateljan, a Mercedes-Benz belonging to the American Idol judge clipped another vehicle on the 101 Freeway in the San Fernando Valley on Dec. 20, 2004. The driver apparently failed to look while changing lanes and did not stop to exchange information, Mateljan tells the Associated Press.

There were no injuries. The driver and passenger in the car that got clipped took down the Mercedes’ license plate number and photographed it with a cell phone camera, Mateljan said.

Celebrity Justice reports that the driver of the clipped car called the California Highway Patrol on Dec. 21, and the CHP contacted Abdul – who said her car was in the shop on the day in question. She said the vehicle suddenly died on the freeway, though mechanics could find nothing wrong.