In Kara Dioguardi’s memoir, A Helluva High Note, due out April 26, the biggest bombshells won’t have anything to do with her 2 year stint as a judge on American Idol.
The hit songwriter, whose new show Platinum Hit debuts on Bravo May 30, reveals that she was molested as a child, and date raped by a well-known music producer.
As an 11 year old, she was repeatedly molested by a family friend’s son who was in his late teens. “On one particular day, he took me into the back shed of his house and put his hands all over my breasts and vagina,” she writes. “I remember freezing and not knowing what to do.”
Around 2000, when her career was taking off, a “fairly known producer” date-raped her after having what she thought was a friendly dinner. “[W]ithin 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,” she writes.
She repeatedly told him to stop, but didn’t fight harder because she feared he’d become violent. She kept the horrific incident to herself, afraid the producer would ruin her career.
If that wasn’t enough, a few years later, a “hugely successful artist” repeatedly harassed her. Kara was invited to a three-day songwriting trip. But instead of working, she writes, “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.”
She eventually walked away from working with the artist after he chased her around the basement of his suburban home and forced her hand on his privates.
On her split with American Idol? Realizing she was on shaky ground after learning on the internet that her job was on shaky ground, Kara asked producers to let her out of her contract. “I wanted a child and there was no way I could get pregnant under the stress of eighteen-hour work days and live TV,” she writes, adding, “I had undergone three unsuccessful rounds of IVF during Season 9.”
“Leaving was painful and there will always be a part of me that wanted to stay,” she writes. “But my desire to be in control of my destiny was larger than my need to be a household name.”