Kara DioGuardi is getting very personal in her new memoir "A Helluva High Note," revealing stories of molestation, date rape and sexual harassment from her past.
First, there was a family friend's teenage son, who repeatedly molested her when she was just 11. "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 describes in the book. "I remember freezing and not knowing what to do."
Years later, with her songwriting career on the rise, the former "American Idol" judge says she was date-raped. DioGuardi describes how a friendly dinner with a "fairly known producer" turned ugly. "[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."
Sexual harassment came next. In her memoir she describes how a "hugely successful artist" took her on a songwriting trip. Rather than working on his music, she says, he spent the trip "watching Russian porn, scavenging around the kitchen for food [and] leering at two strippers ... as they performed sex acts in the living room."
She tried to keep a professional relationship with the artist, but finally quit after an incident where he tried to force her to touch his privates.
Today, DioGuardi is busy with "Platinum Hit," her new Bravo show that premieres May 30, and hopes to start a family with husband Mike McCuddy. That's why she gave up on "Idol" and asked to be let out of her contract, she said.
"I wanted a child and there was no way I could get pregnant under the stress of 18-hour work days and live TV," she writes. "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. But my desire to be in control of my destiny was larger than my need to be a household name."
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-- Emily Christianson
Photo: Kara DioGuardi. Credit: Liz O. Baylen / Los Angeles Times.