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Subject: Paula Abdul Fined After Hit-And-Run Charge

Written By: Dave Brown on 03/26/05 at 1:25 am

LOS ANGELES - "American Idol" judge Paula Abdul (news) was fined and placed on probation Thursday after pleading no contest to a misdemeanor charge of hit-and-run driving stemming from an accident last December in which her Mercedes clipped a car on a San Fernando Valley freeway.

AP Photo

Slideshow: Paula Abdul

Abdul was not in court as her attorney entered the plea, city attorney's spokesman Frank Mateljan said.

Superior Court Commissioner Patricia Schwartz sentenced Abdul to 24 months of informal probation. She also was ordered to pay about $900 in fines and penalties and to reimburse the other motorist $775 for the car damage, Mateljan said.

The charge carried a maximum penalty of six months in jail and a $1,000 fine.

"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."

Authorities said Abdul was driving Dec. 20 on Highway 101 in Encino, about 15 miles northwest of downtown, when she changed lanes and struck another vehicle, causing minor damage.

The driver and passenger snapped a photograph with a cellular telephone camera and wrote down the license plate number of the car, which was traced to Abdul, Mateljan said.

Abdul is one of three judges on "American Idol," Fox's top-rated TV talent show.

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