Former 'Idol' Judge Kara DioGuardi Releases Shocking Memoir

Lindsay Mannering

kara dioguardiI don't know how Kara DioGuardi's breaking news pains me most: as a woman, as a music lover, or as an American Idol fan. The former Idol judge and star of her own upcoming show on Bravo, Platinum Hit, Kara's memoir is also coming out soon. Her book, One Helluva High Note, chronicles the sexual abuse she suffered as an 11-year-old, the date rape she endured, and the over-sexed music industry that kept her silent all these years.

As a woman I hurt for her, as a music fan I'm mad, and as an Idol aficionado, I'm sad I can't vote for her right now to show my support. What she says in her book is disturbing -- and what she went through during Idol doesn't sound like a picnic, either.

Kara opens up in her book and explains that she was molested by a family friend's son in her backyard. She writes:

On one particular day, he took me into the back shed of his house and put his hands all over my breasts and vagina. I remember freezing and not knowing what to do.

And things didn't exactly improve for one of the music industry's best pop song writers and producers. She continued in her book that she was date-raped by a well-known music producer after a dinner out.

Within a few hours, he was on top of me, pumping, sweating, and speaking to me in Spanish, not a word of which I could understand.

Kara was also invited by a "hugely successful artist" to go on a song-writing retreat, only to find out when she got there that it was one big sex party.

The trip's activities consisted of watching Russian porn, scavenging around the kitchen for food [and] leering at two strippers ... as they performed sex acts in the living room.

Those three things sound so terribly awful ... and yet Kara's public image has been nothing but a beautiful, talented, and spunky musical powerhouse who makes me wish I could be more like her. I loved her on Idol -- her comments, criticisms, and anecdotes showed me how a real writer and producer thinks, and I appreciated that next to the drunk Paula who would clap in her sleep. Of course, we had no idea what she was hiding.

In her book she also reveals that the long 18-hour days on Idol stressed her out so much that three rounds of IVF failed. Kara! We had no idea.

I understand that the release of her memoir is timely with the debut of her new show on Bravo, but media string pulling here doesn't bother me. I think it's always brave when a woman speaks out about any abuse she's suffered, and hope that it helps others to speak up as they experience it.

I miss Kara on Idol more than ever -- I've hated on the judges all season -- and I'll be watching her show this summer to hopefully hear some real critiques and advice.

What do you think of Kara's story?

Photo via Frederick M. Brown/Getty

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