Kara DioGuardi’s new memoir reveals molestation, date rape

I hate hearing stories like this, because it makes me want to give the side eye to anyone who has anything to do with my child. Former American Idol judge, record producer Kara DioGuardi, has a new memoir coming out in which she reveals that she was molested by a teen neighbor when she was just 11 and was date raped by a producer when she was in her 30s. She also tells a disturbing anecdote about a rock star who made her watch porn and had strippers over when they were supposed to be songwriting together. I want to know who that one is about.

DioGuardi, whose new show Platinum Hit premieres on Bravo on May 30, reveals that she was repeatedly molested when she was just 11 years old by a family friend’s son who was in his late teens. “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 writes. “I remember freezing and not knowing what to do.”

By 2000, DioGuardi’s career started to take off. It was about that time she says that a “fairly known producer” date-raped her after having what she thought was a friendly dinner. “[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,” she writes.

She repeatedly told him to stop, but didn’t try to fight him because she was too scared he’d become violent. She never told anyone about the horrific incident because she feared he would ruin her career.

A few years later, DioGuardi found herself sexually harassed by a “hugely successful artist.” She was invited to a three-day songwriting trip. But instead of working, she writes, “the trip’s activities consisted of watching Russian porn, scavenging around the kitchen for food [and] leering at two strippers…as they performed sex acts in the living room.”

DioGuardi says she continued to work with the artist because, she writes, “I wasn’t gonna let this bastard deter me from doing the job.” She eventually walked away after he chased her around the basement of his suburban home and forced her hand on his privates.

DioGuardi also opens up about her difficulties getting pregnant during her final season of American Idol. After learning on the Internet that her job was on shaky ground because Ellen DeGeneres was leaving the show, DioGuardi asked producers to let her out of her contract. “I wanted a child and there was no way I could get pregnant under the stress of eighteen-hour work days and live TV,” she writes, adding, “I had undergone three unsuccessful rounds of IVF during Season 9.”

[From E! Online]

It sounds like she’s gone though a lot, and I hope the guys who did that to her know who they did and feel guilt and shame about it for the rest of their lives. They deserve to be prosecuted, but that’s not going to happen for these incidents. She surely wan’t either of those creeps’ only victim and it makes you sick to think about it.

I’m not buying that it was Kara who wanted out of her Idol contract. Her dad said that his daughter was disappointed that Idol hadn’t contacted her after there were rumors that she was being let go. It sounded to me like Idol wanted her to leave and that producers did it in a passive aggressive way so that she was forced to resign. I don’t think that Idol lost much with Kara leaving.

You also wonder what kind of interest there is in Kara now that she’s not on Idol. She wasn’t that likable and didn’t really stand out in the two years she was on the show. She has a new songwriting reality show coming out on Bravo called Going Platinum where contestants compete for a $100,000 prize. Jewel will host. She’s still got a great career in music, too. Kara is the executive vice president of talent development at Warner Brothers.

Kara is shown on 4/7/11 and 2/18/11. Credit: WENN.com



You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

25 Responses to “Kara DioGuardi’s new memoir reveals molestation, date rape”

Comments are Closed

We close comments on older posts to fight comment spam.

  1. maria says:

    she sounds like a professional victim

  2. kazoo says:

    i don’t know who she is & i don’t care about her story, but i like the blue dress. but she shouldn’t have worn those shoes with it. taupe heels need to die forever.

  3. Celebitchy says:

    I don’t think that’s fair, Maria. The outlets always take the most sensational parts of a biography and publicize them, that’s just how it goes. There’s surely plenty of other stuff about her life in there.

  4. Zoya says:

    @ maria:


    Anyways, I’m glad she’s speaking up. sexual abuse and assault are so much more common than people believe so it’s extremely important victims find their voice and gain social strength and support. good for her.

  5. Roma says:

    @Maria: People who experience abuse in childhood are more susceptible to be abused later in life.

    As someone who was raped I take huge offense to that comment. Yes, it’s a gossip site but that’s just uncalled for.

  6. viper says:

    The lack of conscience and sensitivity in our world today is outrageous. Rape happens every 3 seconds 1 2 3 somebody is being raped somewhere in the world right now. The fact that its so common in Hollywood is very telling. It is NOT something to sneer and belittle at all. Mock those that screw themselves over and condone rapists but not those who are actual victims themselves – there is a MORAL line. To some the thing like principles, morals, dignity are all ideals and they see no need for them which is barbaric. And those that cannot feel for victims are no better than those who violate the victims. You have to care because it could be you.

  7. Kiki says:

    Non-native English speaker. Does Maria’s comment mean -in a way- that Kara has had bad luck? As in that maybe it’s her fault that so many bad things have happened to her? -I’m asking… Not judging-.

  8. Mizz Tickles says:

    Wow, she has written a lot of songs! Perhaps she is more of an introvert than an extrovert and that is why she and Idol were not a great match.


    She has kind sad eyes so I think she is in no way a professional victim – I have met some of those pv types and they have shady eyes.

  9. Zelda says:

    re: Maria
    Don’t feed the trolls.

    I like it in theory, but it isn’t working on her. It needs to be about 6″ shorter. Her legs look stumpy. Aaand…bra?

  10. Str8Shooter says:

    @Maria: I agree, rape is nothing to be taken lightly. Until someone else is in that position, they are in no way qualified to make comments like that.

    That being said, I DO question these quasi-celebrities motives for putting stuff like that out there. Is there really part of their ‘healing’ process, or a simple way to sell books?

    It seems like NOTHING is sacred any more when it comes to personal issues.

    Just sayin…

  11. Ellie says:

    I’m sorry. But everytime these people are getting ready to promote something they always come up with the same ole story. It’s like a PR pre-requisite. I’m not buying it.

  12. jinni says:

    Hearing about how many women are molested and/or raped really makes me scared. It seems so prevelant, that it almost seems as if it’s like getting your period or some other life experience that just going to naturally happen in a girls life.

    I have been lucky/fortunate enough not to have experienced either being raped or molested. Sometimes I think that one day my luck is going to run out and it will happen to me too, because it feels as if every woman I know has had at least one or the other thing happen to them.

    I hope my use of the words “lucky” or “fortunate” in this context has not offended anyone. If it has I am sorry and would accept any suggestion on how to better word my feeling on the subject.

  13. The_Porscha says:

    @Ellie: I make no judgments on whether or not DioGuardi’s story is true, however, statistics alone would support the plausibility. Anywhere from 1 in 3 to 1 in 5 women have experienced sexual assault in some form, and someone who has been a victim of sexual assault is 3 times more likely to be a victim more than once. Most of these go unreported.

    In college I facilitated a sexual assault awareness program on campus, with counselors present, and there was an influx of women afterward who were moved to tell their stories for the first time ever. I know it’s naive to think anything is “off-limits” in Hollywood as far as PR goes, BUT I wouldn’t be so quick to dismiss her assertions. Just because this claim is prevalent doesn’t make it untrue. In fact, the very prevalence of the claim is closer to the truth, according to nationally reported statistics.

    A reference:

  14. Samigirl says:

    Oh dear. Maria is gonna get torn up for this one. I feel for Kara. I don’t particularly like her, but, as someone who was a victim of constant molestation (by my step father) I know how hard it is to stomach the secret forever. It’s a terrible feeling, and as hard as it is, it’s even more difficult to tell people. I won’t be buying her memoir, but I won’t badmouth her either.

    edit@Str8Shooter-This is my story. When I was a teen, I ended up in a juvenile rehab facility after a suicide attempt. They delve really deep into your background, and I had no choice but to admit the molestation and eventual rape that happened to me as a child. Telling my father was the hardest thing I had ever done. My stepfather had weaved a story about how if I told anyone, he was going to kill my mom, my father, my (step)sisters and my (step)mother, then come for me. I was absolutely TERRIFIED to tell my secret, because I truly believed he would do this. Even though he had been out of my life for years. However, finally letting that secret go was the biggest weight off my chest. It was extremely freeing and I feel so much better now that I don’t have to carry the burden myself. I’m sure Kara and other victims feel the exact same way.

  15. kazoo says:

    @zelda, yes! it would look good on someone with nice boobs & legs. LOL.

    @Str8shooter, i agree. i still feel like it’s for attention, more than to bring awareness or education. when i see these women rallying behind women’s groups, anti-rape groups, and promoting something other than their BOOK i’ll change my opinion.

  16. kelbear says:

    She writes some damn catchy songs. I really like her also.

  17. sapphire says:

    @kazoo-I think you’ re right. This doesn’t diminish or take away from the trauma and pain these people suffered but selling a book based on these experience is sketchy. How about a free public service announcement or becoming a spokes person for a charity, if you are interested in making a difference?

  18. TQB says:

    @Ellie, sad that it makes you supicious of the women and not the alleged perpetrators. People have made references to the Hollywood Casting Couches for years. You think all the women that supposedly “slept their way to the top” actually did so willingly? Not a chance. The reason so many performers have stories like this is directly related to what goes on in their industry.

  19. icantbelievethis says:

    For those that doubt her story:
    statistics say that 1 out of every 3 to 4 girls has been sexually assaulted by the age of 18. 1 boy out of every 6 will be abused by the age of 18.

    -average child molester will molest fifty girls before being caught and convicted
    -child molester that seeks out boys will molest 150 boys before being caught and convicted and he will commit at least 280 sexual crimes in his lifetime.
    -The standard pedophile will commit 117 sexual crimes in their lifetime.

    Unfortunately stories like hers are way too common. As for the incident while songwriting, I would’ve walked away as soon as Russian Porn came on.

  20. alexandra says:

    Great for Kara and moving on from her past

  21. cara says:

    It’s amazing, it couldn’t of been more then five years ago that I was being heckled at Jezebel for saying that the stats are 7 out of 10 girls will be sexually assaulted bu the time they are 18 and 5 out of 10 boys. (it’s why I jumped ship from thhat site, well that and because I wasn’t in lust with Obama).

    Sorry, but sexual abuse hasn’t been on the forefront as it should be, and these stats are sadly, true.

  22. Kim says:

    I am sorry for all she went through but when women dont confess who these famous men are for fear of being blackballed then they are contributing to these men doing this to mulitple girls and getting away with it!

    The fact that she wont say who it is and didnt press charges against the famous producer who date raped her just, im sure, allowed him to do this again and again to more innocent girls!

    Doing nothing then writing about it years later doesnt make the other girls after her who were raped or harrassed feel any better. She should have stepped up and done something about both these crimes at the time.

    I understand these were not pleasant situations and were very trauamatic and of course i feel bad for her but to me her doing nothing about either man makes it seem like her career was more important then preventing these men from hurting other girls/women.

    As everyone agrees these issues are far to common a problem and women need to start speaking up (about the date rape & harrassment -not about the molestation because i understand a child would be scared to say anything).

  23. MikeyAngel says:

    #22 (sorry I can not see your name), I understand what you are saying, but why should Kara be victimized twice? Once when it happened, and again when she would definitely be black balled. Chances are that even if she was flat out raped by someone absolutely famous, nothing would probably come about legally or from the artist community. Look at “it’s not rape rape” Polanski.

    On a side note, it can be brutal to have any kind of action against a mollester. My brother was mollested at the age of 7 by a 10 year old boy in the neighborhood. This boy would take a knife and hold it to my brother (or the other 4 boys who were his victim) while he did what he did. My mother and the mothers of the other victims tried to have something done, like counseling for the perpetrator (because she assumed if he was only 10 and doing this it was probably being done to him, not to mention that this boy also had twin baby siblings that my mom was afraid he was also victimizing) with no success. She contacted the local police dep, the state attorney’s office, and got nothing, absolutely no help, and no action taken. This kid moved away for a while, but eventually moved back to my moms neighborhood. This is an extreme case I know, but this crap happens all the time, everywhere, and many times, even if the perpetrator is brought to light, nothing happens.

  24. icantbelievethis says:

    @Kim date rape is very hard to prove and comes down to he said/she said plus if he was a music exec he had high powered lawyers who would drag her thru the mud and use anything to tarnish her image and make her look like a liar.

    Look at how many have come out in support of Polanski.

  25. Hakura says:

    @Kim – I do totally understand where you’re coming from, & how endlessly frustrating that issue can be.

    But a victim can’t be blamed for the future actions of their abuser/attacker. Everyone deals with traumatic situations differently. Some convince themselves it never happened, others push it back as far as they can trying to forget, & others *never* accept it.

    I can’t speak for her, but this *is* an experience she’s had. Maybe writing about these things is somehow therapeutic, or maybe it can somehow help others who’ve been through the same thing. I don’t get the impression she’s using it as an opportunistic ploy for attention, but that’s my opinion.