A car crash keeps Paula Abdul off the air. The ''American Idol'' judge misses a morning-show stint but avoids injury in a Los Angeles freeway accident

By Gary Susman
Updated July 24, 2002 at 04:00 AM EDT

Fox is keeping Paula Abdul busy these days — maybe too busy. The New York Post reports that the pop star-turned-”American Idol” judge was in a rush-rush around 8 a.m. yesterday, on her way to a guest-hosting gig on Fox’s morning show ”Good Day Live,” when her car was rear-ended on a Los Angeles freeway. Neither Abdul, who was driving her own car, nor the woman driving the other car was injured, a Fox spokesperson said, but the accident forced the former Laker Girl to miss taping the ”Good Day” appearance.

The morning-show appearance has been one way for Abdul to show that she is more than just the nice-girl foil to the withering Simon Cowell on ”Idol.” In fact, at a Monday press conference at the summer TV critics’ confab in Pasadena, Abdul showed she can be just as cutting as Cowell, when she wants to be. Asked if she was just trying to use her ”Idol” spotlight to get dates, she said, ”It’s working. Seventy men have called me, and only 23 men have called Simon.” Replied Simon, with a trace of sarcasm, ”Working with Paula has been a total delight.”