Ex American Idol judge, Kara Dioguardi sat down with Matt Lauer at the Today show this morning to discuss her time at Idol, surviving sexual abuse and date rape and more.

“As far as I’m concerned,” says Kara in her new book, Hell of a High Note, “American Idol Season 8 might as well have been called ‘Survivor’. Every moment was mentally, physically and emotionally challenging. Every old fear or insecurity about the way I looked, what I said and who I was leaped to the forefront of my mind before each show…it was torture.”

When Kara was molested at 11 years old, she told her mother, who did nothing about it. Before her mom’s death in the late 90′s from Ovarian cancer, Kara was able to reconcile the issue with her.

See the interview after the jump.

The Daily Beast review is HERE: 1

On watching Adam Lambert and Kris Allen sing “No Boundaries” on the S8 final: “Watching them sing that live was like watching a plane fall from the sky.”

Kara says she was hired to be the “polarizing” 4th judge and was unaware that she’d been hired in part, she writes, “to keep Paula in check, since her contract was up in a year.”

Also, check out this interview from AOL.com HERE.

Were you fired or did you quit?
I called them after I saw reports about the show and they said now that Ellen is leaving it’s put everything up in the air because now we need to replace two people so we don’t know what’s going on. So I asked if I was fired and they said “no,” so I said well last week we were talking about auditions, am I definitely doing the show? And they said, “We can’t say that for sure but you’re definitely not fired.” I thought I’m not going to hang around and wait to see what happens, so I sent them a letter asking them to release me from their contract which they would not do until they sorted it all out. I think the reality is that the panel was not set up until the very end.

You never had a problem with Paula but you had problems with Simon.
I never had any issues with Paula. It was more they brought me on and didn’t tell her. With Simon I felt like he wasn’t letting me … and he was the key to the panel. For whatever reason, I just felt like the newbie. But then we got to a place where we respected each other and I learned the most from him.

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  • MrDuffin

    Nobody is making her do this. She needs to just be quiet.

  • loosegoose

    So, she felt so traumatized by what had happened to her that she repeatedly used sexual innuendo and actual come-ons to Casey James? Lots of sensitivity there, Kara. You’re doing exactly the same as was done to you. And now you’re trying to profit from your self-proclaimed status as a victim. You weren’t mistreated as a child. You were an adult then, and you’re a successful professional now. Take responsibility for your own actions. Treat people as you say you want them to treat you.

  • cfletch

    Um, ok, Kara.

  • IdolThoughts

    Desperation is a stinky perfume.

  • tinawina

    So, she felt so traumatized by what had happened to her that she repeatedly used sexual innuendo and actual come-ons to Casey James? Lots of sensitivity there, Kara. You’re doing exactly the same as was done to you.

    Wait… Kara was raped, right? Not the same thing IMO. I think that’s taking things a little far.

  • JudyL

    Kara was also on Regis this morning. I had a workman here so was only able to catch bits of the interview but she was discussing why ‘she decided’ not to continue with Idol. Give me a break. One of the reasons why she is so unlikable…..why doesn’t she just say she knew she was not wanted back for another season. I probably still wouldn’t like her but it would gain her some sympathy from others, maybe, and she so wants to be liked.

    Hope mj is able to post this interview too. Since I actually wasn’t able to watch closely, I possibly could have a better impression if I hear the whole thing.

  • Keel

    Wait… Kara was raped, right? Not the same thing IMO. I think that’s taking things a little far.

    I agree. Let’s not get carried away here, no matter who your favorite is. Sheesh.

    I never liked her much on Idol, but I feel sorry for what happened to her. That’s a tough hand she was dealt. More power to her for having the courage to talk about it.

  • ilovekrisallen39

    I so agree I think she has the right to talk about it. Why keep it buried inside for. She wasn’t my favorite on the show but I really think its great that she’s talking about it.

  • cfletch

    I think its good therapy for her to open up about it. Her song-writing skills still suck.

  • MrDuffin

    Why keep it buried inside

    especially since she can now help sell some books. She has had 30 years to resolve this issue for free so why wait until now. She has taken something that is bad and made it worse by trying to capitalize in it.

  • standtotheright

    She has had 30 years to resolve this issue for free so why wait until now.

    Because she has the notoriety and network now to protect her from retaliation from the people who did this to her? She didn’t have that as a small kid or a young songwriter.

    I get that people don’t like her, but there’s not one socially acceptable time to air these stories.

  • MrDuffin

    but there’s not one socially acceptable time to air these stories.

    I agree…so why do it? $$$$$

  • standtotheright

    I agree…so why do it? $$$$$

    So, basically, no rape victims can ever write biographies, because if they do they are just trying to cash in on their traumatic experiences?

    Okay. (Except, you know…not.)

  • bjames

    I miss Kara. Like, a lot. This season could have really used her critiques among the horrible cheerleading.

  • GwendolynD

    On watching Adam Lambert and Kris Allen sing “No Boundaries” on the S8 final: “Watching them sing that live was like watching a plane fall from the sky.”

    Quoted for truth….

  • Truthiness

    Wait… Kara was raped, right? Not the same thing IMO. I think that’s taking things a little far.

    Exactly. She was an 11 year old child who was raped. And she told her mother, who did nothing. Those are two terrible things and betryals to happen to, well anyone, but especially an 11 year old child. That’s nowhere in the realm as being the same as making some, admittedly, poorly thought out sexually suggestive remarks to an adult.

    And yes, she may be telling them now as part of her book, but it’s her story and hers to tell and maybe now she feels comfortable enough to speak about it. She’s the victim, she gets to decide when she’s comfortable enough to discuss it, and how. Even as part of book tour.

    I didn’t like Kara as a judge, but no way do I conflate that with the horrible things that happened to her as a person. I feel badly she suffered in the past, and wish her the best of luck, as a person, going forward.

  • DogBitez

    “On watching Adam Lambert and Kris Allen sing “No Boundaries” on the S8 final: “Watching them sing that live was like watching a plane fall from the sky.”

    Wow, color me slow-witted… I don’t understand the significance of this. Can someone clue me in as to what she meant, the “why” of it?

  • emmuzka

    She might have a hard time selling her book. It’s a good thing that people come out and tell their abuse victim stories, but really, America only wants to heard about the winners. It’s not enough that you survive a shark attack; you’ll have to win a gold medal with only one arm to people to pay attention.

    To who the book is meant for? As a survivor/strong woman story, it can make people uncomfortable, because she isn’t the total winner that people want to see. Also, there might be plenty of American Idol fans who have thought about buying the book to get insights from seasons 8 and 9, but are scared away by the abuse, not wanting angst with their feel good reading.

    And yeah, seeing Kris and Adam sing No Bounderies was like watching a place crash. At least she is real about it. Too bad, though; if she would have written a good song, that could have been her best moment in Idol.

  • larc

    On watching Adam Lambert and Kris Allen sing “No Boundaries” on the S8 final: “Watching them sing that live was like watching a plane fall from the sky.”

    That must have been when Kara realized what a totally dreadful song it is. The two most talented singers in S8 couldn’t even make it sound decent.

    I wish she had said what she thought when it was dropped from Kris’s set on the tour.

  • Niall

    It’s her story to tell. Coming off of Idol she was almost certain to write a book with or without the sexual abuse stuff. The fact that she included it is pretty brave.
    She annoyed me at times when she was a judge but there were also times she was clearly the most astute judge of talent. Unfortunately, Simon was bored and wasn’t interested in anything other than being contrary and undercutting of any attempts by the panel to take things seriously.

  • sma11ie

    Wait… Kara was raped, right? Not the same thing IMO. I think that’s taking things a little far.

    Word.

    So, basically, no rape victims can ever write biographies, because if they do they are just trying to cash in on their traumatic experiences?

    Okay. (Except, you know…not.)

    Word x 2.

    The plane out of the sky analogy was weird though.

  • fuzzywuzzy

    So I asked if I was fired and they said “no,” so I said well last week we were talking about auditions, am I definitely doing the show? And they said, “We can’t say that for sure but you’re definitely not fired.”

    If this is what really happened, then I think that the writing was on the wall and there was no way that they were going to keep Kara on the show.

  • larc

    sma11ie says:
    The plane out of the sky analogy was weird though.

    That’s not the only thing about Kara that is weird! ;)

  • Moria Polonius

    On watching Adam Lambert and Kris Allen sing “No Boundaries” on the S8 final: “Watching them sing that live was like watching a plane fall from the sky.”

    Wow, color me slow-witted… I don’t understand the significance of this. Can someone clue me in as to what she meant, the “why” of it?

    Well, both Kris and Adam crashed and burned on that song. This is how I would see the analogy, but I’m not entirely sure what Kara meant.

  • DogBitez

    Well, both Kris and Adam crashed and burned on that song. This is how I would see the analogy, but I’m not entirely sure what Kara meant.

    Well, I guess I was just wondering if she meant that the crash and burn was THEIR fault, that they butchered her perfectly wonderful song (gag). Or if she was accepting responsibility for a crap piece of music that made the final two contestants sound godawful.

  • sagi

    Yeah, I don’t get what she meant by that comment, either! It was a sucky song to sing, especially LIVE and at the finale, but both Adam and Kris both gave it as much justice as they could. The song sucked, but they sounded great and at least tried to make the song sound good. :shrugs:

  • GwendolynD

    The song was horrible. Period. She realized it when she heard them singing it. Hindsight is 20/20.

    It’s like watching a plane fall out the sky, realizing that the situation is already helpless, and at the same time, knowing that you, on the ground, can do absolutely nothing about it but stand there and watch people die.

    The song was out there, recorded, performed, and horrible, and her name is tied to it forever. She, Kara DioGuardi, who came onto the scene of Idol as an award-winning songwriter.

  • sunny2

    I’m surprised that Kara didn’t get fired over that horrid song! I really didn’t think they were going to ask her back for S9.

  • IdolThoughts

    I get that it’s important to tell your story. But, hers is a sad one and one that doesn’t offer a lot of hope since she has only achieved success and happiness in her life DESPITE what she’s gone through. I don’t think that is helpful to abuse victims. She didn’t get the help or support that she needed and obviously has a lot of personal problems that stem from her trauma. It’s just like an expose of sorts…a look into a train wreck that I don’t think is relevant to anything. She seems like she’s just using her celebrity and this “bombshell” to sell, sell, sell. I feel for what she went through as I’ve personally had experience with this, but she’s not winning me over with this one. Not that she has to. I’m just not drinking the Koolaid. And I don’t feel sorry for her Idol run and subsequent opinions on the way she was treated etc. She was a bull in a China shop and she should own that. She did her best.

  • Nina1

    It seems like Idol was too much of a bell jar for Kara to feel like she succeeded or did well in it. Her failure with respect to “No boundaries” was apparently devastating to her. I certainly understand it, but I think in that environment there is no way she could have succeeded and she needs to let the whole experience go. She has a new husband, a good life, and a terrific career.

  • Nina1

    She seems like she’s just using her celebrity and this “bombshell” to sell, sell, sell.

    I don’t think so, I think she just has more of a need than most to defend or justify her life, which has, unfortunately been a public one. She will be healed when she stops bothering.

    ETA: The media has apparently been selective about what they address in this book. A less loaded perspective seems to be at the Daily Beast: http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2011-04-25/kara-dioguardis-a-helluva-high-note-quit-not-fired-from-american-idol-and-more-secrets/2/

  • jpfan

    I saw Kara on Regis today. She’s written some great songs like Sober along with the crap so I doubt she did the book for the money. She does seem like a damaged person who is looking to heal. I wish her well even though she was a bad fit for Idol.

  • TwigLA

    I feel bad for Kara. It seems to me she owns her failures just as she owns her successes. She felt a need to write this book and for that I applaud her. I’m tempted to read it since from her interview on Regis & Kelly, it’s about a whole lot more than what the media is latching on to.

    It had to be rough walking into the AI clique and trying to fit. The criticism she took was brutal. I certainly wasn’t a fan of hers, but things make much more sense now.

    That comment about Kris and Adam was about realizing the song was bad and there was no way to take it back. She had the two guys who could make just about anything sound good and this obviously stank.

    Someone needs to send Kara reggae No Boundaries. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D5PLCUCD0-o

  • ross

    So I asked if I was fired and they said “no,” so I said well last week we were talking about auditions, am I definitely doing the show? And they said, “We can’t say that for sure but you’re definitely not fired.” I thought I’m not going to hang around and wait to see what happens, so I sent them a letter asking them to release me from their contract which they would not do until they sorted it all out.

    Good for her.

  • karenc

    With No Boundaries, I remember thinking at the time that it would have fit Danny better, and that’s why she seemed so shocked when Danny was voted off. I’m sure this was planned before they got to the final 2.

    I kind of wondered last season if they were keeping Kara on contract in case they couldn’t get a new judge in time.

  • Elliegrll

    Yeah, I don’t get what she meant by that comment, either!

    She probably means that she realized that the song wasn’t a good fit for either of them, and given that she didn’t feel secure in her job, she was probably worried about how that would make her look.

  • Niall

    I’m not sure why her plane reference is so difficult to understand. It’s just a turn of phrase to highlight how horrible she felt watching those performances, probably realizing the song was all wrong for them and she was watching a professional disaster unfold in real time on live tv. It wasn’t a slap at Kris or Adam, it was about her own failure to compose the right song and realizing it too late.

  • poohbear

    I never watched Idol before the Adam Lambert season, and even then I only saw Adam’s performances on MJ’s site because I don’t have a teevee and he was getting such spectacular publicity. So not having seen the judges before Kara came on the show, I thought she was good.

    I didn’t know I thought she was good until I watched the “yes men” who are the “judges” now. Kara gave advice, good advice. She and Simon were the only true judges out of all the others. Ellen was a sick joke, Paula was sweet and fun and sugary, Randy was a non-entity. Randy is still a non-entity, Jennifer is one of those beautiful women where the “lights are on, but nobody’s home.” She seriously has the vocabulary of a brain damaged stoner. And “Dude looks like a lady” is so, so boring and predictable. No one is a judge/coach in this group.

    I used to be so excited to watch MJ’s videos because she included the judging, whereas they snipped that part on AI’s website. Now I simply watch for the performance and click the window shut before those pea-brains start their gushing.

    So as I was saying, looking back and having seen this interview, I believe that Kara was one of the only true, helpful judges along with Simon.

  • Masieta

    Tweet from jambajim jim cantiello
    “Just wrapped an especially meaty (and serious!) interview with Kris Allen. We talk Kara’s book, @MusicEmpowers, TONS on new music, and MORE.”

    It will be interesting to hear Kris’ take on Kara’s book. Hope Jim asked about her No Boundaries comment.

  • http://twitter.com/lindsav adamland

    As a rape victim I am horrified anyone would criticize a victim talking about what happened no matter how long after the fact. It took me 20 years to discuss it.

    Kara was only a co-writer for “No Boundaries”, one of 3 co-writers. She IS an accomplished song writer. Kara is a Grammy nominated writer, 2011 NAMM Music For Life Award winner, 2009 NMPA Songwriter Icon Award winner, 2007 BMI Pop Songwriter of the Year, and has received 15 BMI Awards for co-writing the most performed songs on the radio.

  • TwigLA

    adamland, I’m horrified as well. I was too angry about the comments to address that part in my post. This is why women and girls are afraid to come forward about sexual assault and harassment.

  • iluvai

    Oh Kara continues to annoy me. What gives her the right to pen a book about Idol… You are an outsider. I would way rather hear the scoop from Randy, Paula, or Simon.

    TwigLA: This kind of crime is old news…. It’s annoying. That’s coming from someone who has dealt with childhood trauma and adult trauma… It happens a lot and I’m sick of people acting like they are special because it happened to them.

    I wish the non famous people could write their stories. Kara makes me want to vomit.

    edit: She still comes across as smug.

  • larc

    Niall says:
    It wasn’t a slap at Kris or Adam, it was about her own failure to compose the right song and realizing it too late.

    My take on it may be all wrong, but “No Boundaries” has the smell of a last-minute effort to me. I think it was a Hail Mary play that didn’t work. If Kara really worked on it for a few months rather than just a few days as I suspect, she might need to rethink her career choice.

  • standtotheright

    What gives her the right to pen a book about Idol… You are an outsider. I would way rather hear the scoop from Randy, Paula, or Simon.

    Um, what gave Shirley Halperin or Richard Rushfield the right to write books about Idol? She was on the show for two years, working in real time. They visited the set and did some interviews. I don’t seem to recall outrage then.

    TwigLA: This kind of crime is old news…. It’s annoying. That’s coming from someone who has dealt with childhood trauma and adult trauma… It happens a lot and I’m sick of people acting like they are special because it happened to them.

    I think “it happens a lot” is the strongest possible argument for public figures speaking up when it happens to them. People like to believe that sexual assault is much rarer than it is, and sadly, in our celebrity culture, this is a necessary light to shine upon the problem.

    She has the right to tell her story. Nobody is being forced to read it.

  • http://twitter.com/lindsav adamland

    TwigLA says:
    04/26/2011 at 10:37 pm

    adamland, I’m horrified as well. I was too angry about the comments to address that part in my post. This is why women and girls are afraid to come forward about sexual assault and harassment.

    You are right. We are accused of having an agenda by coming forward.

  • http://twitter.com/lindsav adamland

    larc says:
    04/27/2011 at 12:07 am

    Niall says:
    It wasn’t a slap at Kris or Adam, it was about her own failure to compose the right song and realizing it too late.

    My take on it may be all wrong, but “No Boundaries” has the smell of a last-minute effort to me. I think it was a Hail Mary play that didn’t work. If Kara really worked on it for a few months rather than just a few days as I suspect, she might need to rethink her career choice.

    4 people co-wrote No Boundaries. She has a ton of awards for her song writing.

  • http://twitter.com/lindsav adamland

    iluvai says:
    04/26/2011 at 11:33 pm

    Oh Kara continues to annoy me. What gives her the right to pen a book about Idol… You are an outsider. I would way rather hear the scoop from Randy, Paula, or Simon.

    TwigLA: This kind of crime is old news…. It’s annoying. That’s coming from someone who has dealt with childhood trauma and adult trauma… It happens a lot and I’m sick of people acting like they are special because it happened to them.

    I wish the non famous people could write their stories. Kara makes me want to vomit.

    edit: She still comes across as smug.

    And I am leaving again. Just when I think I can come back this happens. Rape is so very different from other traumas. You have no idea. NONE.

  • iluvai

    And I am leaving again. Just when I think I can come back this happens. Rape is so very different from other traumas. You have no idea. NONE.

    I do have an idea. And she is a fame whore. Kara disgusts me.

    I shouldn’t have to defend myself. If you read my earlier posts you would realize I’ve been there done that. :( I’m so over people cashing in on this topic….

  • standtotheright

    I’m so over people cashing in on this topic….

    And I’m so over people accusing other people who come forward of “cashing in.” Why is it only rape victims? Why is there never an accusation that soldiers with war wounds and psychological trauma are “cashing in?” Why never for families of murder victims who write about their experiences with criminal justice?

    If I were ever to have a daughter who wanted to go into the music industry, I would be thanking whatever relevant deities for Kara DioGuardi right now. “This is what it can be like. Be careful.”

    I just don’t understand why she gets singled out and nobody else does. I’m sorry you had your experiences, but I still don’t think that gives you the right to call her a fame whore because she wrote a book. If she is, then so are 90 percent of her peers; they’d take the advance from Harper Collins, too.

  • Keel

    I get that it’s important to tell your story. But, hers is a sad one and one that doesn’t offer a lot of hope since she has only achieved success and happiness in her life DESPITE what she’s gone through. I don’t think that is helpful to abuse victims.

    I don’t understand this sentiment. I think it is helpful to hear stories of people who experienced this type of abuse still achieving success in their lives. If she achieved all this DESPITE what happened to her, I think that is a hopeful thing to hear for abuse victims. I think what happened to her as a victim of molestation and sexual assault is fairly common — i.e., people in position to help not doing anything, the rapist never being punished, etc., so her story may be a lot more relatable from that standpoint. I don’t understand why it needs to be Hallmark Channel levels of inspiring for it to be story worth telling.

    Anyway, I feel bad for Kara for what happened to her and hope she continues to heal. Major props to her for telling her story (especially now as people pop up here and all over the internet questioning why she’s telling her story). Very brave.

  • loosegoose

    Just read the whole thread after posting very early yesterday. I’m sorry my comments implied a criticism of a victim speaking out. I wasn’t clear enough. What bothers me is that she did much the same thing to CJ that was done to her when she was trying to break into the business. All that leering, the sexual hints…And all Casey could do, since this was his big chance, was to grit his teeth and play along. She doesn’t see the contradiction between her own story and then inflicting that treatment on someone else? That’s what I meant by taking responsibility for her behavior–not that that she was responsible for her date rape–absolutely not!–but that now, as a successful pro, she subjected another young hopeful to sexual teases and taunts in a situation where he really couldn’t say no unless he was willing to give up his big chance.

  • https://twitter.com/pmhowden undercooked

    What bothers me is that she did much the same thing to CJ that was done to her when she was trying to break into the business. All that leering, the sexual hints…And all Casey could do, since this was his big chance, was to grit his teeth and play along. She doesn’t see the contradiction between her own story and then inflicting that treatment on someone else?

    It. is. not. the. same. thing. Also did Casey get four votes from the judges to go to Hollywood? I’m sure Randy, Ellen and Simon would have voted him through if he hadn’t taken is shirt off. Casey is a grown man. He could have made some joke about it and not taken his shirt off.

    Sometimes it takes victims a long time to be able to discuss their traumas. I also think AI was traumatic for her and perhaps that triggered her to deal with the other traumas buried inside. Part of her problem on AI was her insecurity. I’m sure a lot of that came from her childhood. The stress of AI may have been the catalyst she needed to finally address these problems. Perhaps she is in therapy now?

    I wish her the best.