Paula Abdul was shocked to discover she was pranked by Sacha Baron Cohen while he was in character as his alter ego Bruno.

Cohen headlined the 2009 film as the titular character, a bawdy Austrian TV host, and in one scene, interviews the former American Idol host.

Abdul recently relived the experience during a sit down with Watch What Happens Live host Andy Cohen, revealing she was lured into the scene by being told she was receiving an award.

"Look, I heard I was getting an International Artist of the Year award - I'm gonna show up. ... I wanted to get that award," she stated.

But when she arrived, she found "some crazy freak" dressed in plastic pants who summoned a group of gardeners to get on all fours and serve as human furniture.

It was not until she began receiving interview requests to speak about working with the Borat star that she realised it was Cohen.

"I haven't worked with Sacha Baron Cohen! I think he's a genius, but I haven't worked with him," the 57-year-old recalled saying when asked about the collaboration.

It wasn't until Abdul conducted online research and saw images of the actor as Bruno that she discovered she had in fact worked with him. Much to her dismay, she wasn't invited to attend the film's premiere.

"It was a week before the opening," she smiled. "And I wasn't even invited."