Winning “American Idol” shot Fantasia Barrino to instant fame.
And things become even sweeter when you consider the darkness from which she escaped.
Fantasia talked exclusively to Access Hollywood about the worst day of her life.
“I said, ‘You know what, I'm going to tell my story so I can help a lot of people,’” Fantasia told us.
It is a hopeful but often painful journey that unfolds within the pages of her book, “Life Is Not A Fairy Tale.” And Fantasia holds nothing back, including the fact that, as a ninth grader, she was raped in her school auditorium.
“I couldn't sit and die,” Fantasia told Access. “I couldn't sit and blame myself for everything. I had to tell myself, ‘No, no, no — you deserve respect. You are a queen, no matter what they say. No matter how they touch you, no matter. You are special.’”
At a New York book signing, Fantasia probably gave out as many hugs as she did autographs, ever mindful she might be talking to someone who's been through a similar experience.
“When they go through that, it messes with you mentally. It messes with you and they feel like, ‘It's over.’ And I want to say to them, that ‘No, it's not over,’” said the “Idol” winner.
Though now a successful recording artist, the urgency in getting her message out remains. Perhaps it’s because her alleged attacker never stood trial. Fantasia says she dropped the case because of threats by his friends.
“We all fall down but we can get back up. We can dust ourselves off and be whatever we want to be,” Fantasia told us.
She's determined to be a great role model, while making the best life she can for her now 5-year-old daughter, Zion.
“I want when Zion grows up for her to be able to go back and read my book and say, ‘Dang ma, you did it. I respect you, you accomplished a lot.’”