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Video: DioGuardi reflects on surviving ‘Idol,’ sexual abuse

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    >>> we are back at 8:10 with kara dioguardi , the grammy nominated songwriter took her seat at the " american idol " judges' table and instantly became a lightning rod for controversy. after two seasons she took her final bow. now she's opening up about her life and time on the show in her new book called "a helluva high note ." nice to see you. welcome back. it's been a while.

    >> it has.

    >> you're young to write a memoir and the " american idol " stuff, some people may see as a little bit of score settling. is that the way you see it?

    >> no. i decided to write a book because i was doing shows at the end of season 9 where i would go out, sing the songs i had cowritten and tell the stories behind the songs. it telt with challenges i have come through, things i faced and how difficult it was to attain dree your dreams. i thought it might help other people looking to pursue a career outside the norm.

    >> there are about 50 pages at the end dedicated to " american idol ." they will get a lot of attention. one of the things you feel is your introduction was mishandled. they didn't announce your arrival in the right way and tell people why you deserved the seat at that table?

    >> i don't know that it was mishandled. i think they did a montage at the beginning to introduce me, but i think people were so confused by songwriter? record executive? what are these things. i don't think a lot of people know that's a job, that people write songs. so it took the viewers a while to understand why i was there. it was like i broke up the beatles.

    >> you were interrupting the chemistry of the panel. you write, as far as i'm concerned " american idol " season 8 might have been called survivor. every moment was mentally, physically and emotionally challenging. every fear or insecurity about the way i looked, what i said ond who i was leaped to the front of my mind before each show. it was torture.

    >> i came from behind the scenes . i was used to sitting on the couch in the back of the studio. to be thrust into the homes of millions of people and live television and things i didn't know how to do was so challenging. but, you know, that's why the book talks to people who have to face their fears and tells them that, you know, you can come through this. you can do this.

    >> we reached out to fox and they declined comment. do you believe you were brought on to bring paula online so she wouldn't go crazy on contract negotiations? they bring another hot chick and say, if you leave she'll take your place?

    >> i don't know that that was true. i think they wanted to mix it up. they wanted the chemistry to be fresh. it was really difficult to come into something so established. you know, i have to say i have nothing but love for " american idol ." i came through it. i'm stronger for it. i got to face some really big fears.

    >> some of the other things you write about in the book. you talk about an episode where you are 11 years old and repeatedly molested by a family friend. used to play hide and seek and you write the game soon became hide, seek and touch. what's most disturbing is you went to your mother and said, this boy, this teenager is doing this to me. she did nothing.

    >> you know, it was at a time when there were no oprahs. i came from a conservative catholic family. i don't think i heard my motherer say "sex" until i was 22. it was hard for her to deal with. but the good news is i have heard from a friend of hers that it did weigh on her and that she did reach out to friends and talk about it. before she died, we spoke about it.

    >> there is another incident in the book. i think it will prove controversial. you write about a music producer . fairly well known. who date raped you. you write in the book, he asked if i wanted to have dinner one evening. i was looking for a friend i could talk shop with, someone to give me career advice. i didn't get that. within a few hours he was on top of me. the thing about date rape is you don't know it's happening until it's too late. you don't name a name. why did you decide to include that?

    >> these are things that affected my songs. going through an experience like that was so difficult. when i went to choose men i didn't always choose the greatest guys. a lot of those experiences ended up in, like, angry songs. for me it was important to express why i got into these bad relationships. but, again, following my dream is what saved me.

    >> by including the story and not naming names, which i understand why you don't name names, it will create a lot of speculation. are you worried at all that some innocent people might be wrapped up in the speculation?

    >> that's why i didn't name names. it's not about that person. i don't want it to become about that person. i want it to become about all the other people who have been through this experience and tell them that you can get through it. you can be stronger for it.

    >> one of the other things you write about in the book is your mom passing away after a battle with cancer. you write that on your resum? it's your proudest moment because you were 100% there for her when she needed you. you write that after you watched them take her body and remove it from her home nothing could ever touch you again. nothing anybody ever said about you or did to you could harm you again.

    >> in the moment it may have stung if they said something but it could never hurt me the way losing a parent and watching them die from a terrible disease like that feels.

    >> i think it is nice that you were able to put everything else aside at that time. despite ups and downs in your life together, be there 100%.

    >> yeah. i don't know how i had that foresight, but i did. you know, i know that i spent years of time with her in those years. every moment i could. you know, it was the right thing to do and she was a great mom. none of us are perfect. we're all human.

    >> the book is called "a helluva high note ." kara dioguardi , thanks for being here. good to see you again.

Photos: Celebrity Sightings

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