Paula Abdul and Emilio Estevez together forever? -- Six years ago, the brief union of the singer and the Brat Packer was a tabloid sensation.

Her single ”Will You Marry Me” was shooting up the charts when Paula Abdul got her answer: On April 29, 1992, Emilio Estevez said ”I will” at a private ceremony in a Santa Monica judge’s chambers.

It was the Hollywood wedding of the year. She was a Laker Girl-turned-top choreographer-turned-singer-dancer who’d gone multiplatinum with her 1988 debut, Forever Your Girl. He was Martin Sheen’s oldest son, Demi Moore’s former fiance, star of The Breakfast Club, Repo Man, and Young Guns. Already a much-dished-about item, they were a match made in gossip-column heaven.

Barely two years later, the gossip was about their break-up. On May 10, 1994, Abdul filed for divorce, citing irreconcilable differences. Abdul wanted children, she said in 1995, while Estevez, already a father of two from a previous relationship, did not want a second family. ”It was very hard for him to admit that he couldn’t handle having kids again,” Abdul said. ”It was heartbreaking for us both.”

The split seemed to send the pair into a professional funk. After four years without a new album, Abdul released Head Over Heels (1995), a melange of soul, world music, and hip-hop, which sold disappointingly. During the same period, Estevez mustered only a sequel to his successful The Mighty Ducks. There were also personal problems, especially for Abdul, whose 15-year battle with bulimia led her to a clinic before she overcame the condition in ’95. A year later, she married clothing manufacturer Brad Beckerman following a whirlwind courtship. And the marriage proved just as fleeting: Abdul filed for divorce this March after 16 months.

But both of their careers have recently taken upturns. Estevez, now 35, produced, directed, and starred in 1996’s Vietnam- veteran drama The War at Home, and will do the same on The Bang Bang Club, about wartime photojournalists. Abdul, 35, has ventured into acting, making her starring debut as a rape victim in the 1997 TV movie Touched by Evil, and is at work on her first record since 1995, due on Mercury Records possibly later this year. ”It’ll be a dance album,” says a spokesperson. Gossip-column heaven can wait.

Time Capsule: April 29, 1992

Murphy Brown builds toward its season finale, buoyed by the impending birth of the single Murphy’s baby. This spring, with her breast cancer in remission, Murphy (Candice Bergen, right, with TV baby Avery) readies for a nostalgic sign-off.

At the movies
Basic Instinct is the top box office killer, setting up Sharon Stone, then 34, as a ’90s femme fatale. After several flops, Stone will display her tough-girl charms this year in Gloria.

In bookstores
John Grisham’s The Pelican Brief tops the best-seller list. As Grisham films aren’t exactly rare birds, the film version will be released a year later, with Julia Roberts and Denzel Washington.

And in the news
Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton handily wins the Pennsylvania Democratic primary. For a New York Times story headlined clinton: honest enough?, 55 percent of primary voters respond ”yes.”