Kara DioGuardi discusses sexual assaults in her new memoir


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Kara DioGuardi, songwriter and former American Idol judge, reveals some dark episodes from her past in her new memoir, A Helluva High Note. In the book, out next week, she touches on multiple instances of sexual assault, beginning with an attack by a family friend when she was only 11.

The other instances occurred later in her life, as she was just beginning her career in the music industry. DioGuardi writes, the emphatic capitalization hers, “I DO NOT (DID NOT) SLEEP WITH ANYONE TO ADVANCE MY CAREER,” but that did not stop those she worked with from expecting her to. She describes a sexual phone call she received from an executive for “one of the major record companies,” as well as an incident in which she was date raped by “a fairly well-known producer [who] had seemingly taken an interest in [her] songwriting.” She then details a trip with a “well-known, hugely successful international artist” that was supposed to be an opportunity to write songs and prove her talent, but ended up a skeezy itinerary of activities that included “watching Russian porn, scavenging around the kitchen for food, leering at two strippers […] as they performed sex acts in the living room,” and for which she says she “could have sued Sony for millions of dollars.”

In A Helluva High Note, DioGuardi also opens up about her efforts to get pregnant and how the difficulty of conceiving in American Idol‘s high-stress, long-hour work environment contributed to her decision to ask the show’s producers to release her from her contract last summer.


Comments (14 total) Add your comment
  • Adam

    Is there no end to this pill’s need for attention?

    • NoName

      Get a grip!!! This is not something you say just for attention.

  • Erica

    I’m sorry for her (if all of this is true), but, does anybody really care? Seriously?

  • Chism

    Kara’s written some of the best pop songs. I am interested in her perspective on the music industry, but in order for her to gain readers, the PR team has leak the juiciest tidbits to gain interest… hence this article. Sex Sells folks.

  • NoName

    I can’t imagine what it must have been like, she is such a great songwriter and person. She most be so strong because of this. If I wasn’t a huge fan before, I sure am now. And this book is going to show how hard it is to work in the music industry. I have so much respect for her.

  • Cate

    Erica, you are a woman, and you ask, “Does anybody care, seriously”? Every woman in the world should care. This kind of thing happens too often and men get away with it. I was raped by a famous TV sports anchor when I was 25. He glared at me the next day in the newsroom which told me that if told anyone, my career was over. (I was just starting out). I can not and WILL not ever forget some of the things men said to me as I made my way in TV and radio. One day I went to my boss to ask for a raise and he told me to “Get up on his desk and spread my legs” when he shut his office door. Another producer told me to take my clothes off one day while I was in a control room with him. And, yet another man used to crawl under my desk and pinch my private parts or unhook my bra while I was doing an interview or preparing a newscast. I could go on and on, you have no idea what women can go through. YES, this is important, YES, women should care and I applaud Kara for having the guts to come forward with this. She is already rich and famous anyway. She can get attention in a multitude of ways. Get with it, women of the world! STOP THE ABUSE,NOW!

    • Scott

      I take rape/sexual harrassment very seriously since I have two daughters……..but come on, she should name names unless she’s just trying to sell a book.

      • mela

        That’s my take as well. If you’re going to make an accusation, make it and name names. Why would she protect them?

  • Marty

    I’m impressed! You’ve managed the almost impsiosble.

  • Cynthia Summers

    Right on for Kara. As far as naming names, it is not that easy. I was raped decades ago by a very famous British musician whom I had ( lucky for me ) broken an engagement to. And sexism and assault are very common in the entertainment and music industries. I might add, men try because there are so many desperate women willing to put out to get their foot ( and whatever else ) in the door. But mention a name and you let yourself in for all kinds of grief.

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  • Yolzy

    I want to know which famous singer grabbed her hand and put it on his crotch!, I would never listen to his music again!

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