Former “American Idol” Contestant Blames the Reality Show For Her Problem with Drugs and the Law
There’s no doubt that “American Idol” is a cultural phenomenon. During its 17 season run, the talent competition has brought us some of the biggest names in the music and entertainment industry. Not only did it reinvigorate Paula Abdul’s career, it also brought JLo back to our TV screens. That’s just the judges; the reality competition also began major careers. Without “Idol” we may not have ever heard of Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood or Jennifer Hudson. While these former “Idol” alums wouldn’t trade the TV show experience for the world, not all of the former contestants have warm feelings about their time on the reality series.
Recently, former “American Idol” contestant Antonella Barba had a major run in with the law and is now her time on the show is being blamed for her illegal actions.
Back in 2007, Barba appeared on the reality television competition. The aspiring singer made it all the way to the Top 16 before she was sent home, however; the Latina did kick up some controversy during her time on “Idol.” For instance, the aspiring singer was photographed posing in a wet t-shirt at the fountain of a World War II Memorial in Washington, DC. This and other racy photographs of her that were leaked online around the time she was on “Idol.”
Though she tried to stay in the entertainment industry after “Idol,” the aspiring singer never made it big. The American public didn’t hear from Barba again until she appeared in the 2012 season of Fear Factor. Her problems with the law started soon after. In 2011, Barda was first arrested for shop-lifting in New York City and sentenced to do community service. In August of last year, the Latina was arrested on major drug charges. She has since pleaded guilty on possession and distribution of fentanyl — a highly addictive opioid that is deadly if abused as a recreational drug.
Court documents released ahead of her sentencing (scheduled for tomorrow) reveal that her time on the show is being b lamed for the downward spiral Barda’s life has since taken.
Shared by celebrity gossip site, The Blast, the documents explain that the former singer sees herself as a “resilient, deeply religious, selfless and driven person…someone who could rightfully be called a perfectionist.” However, Barba’s mother saw that being on the television show only brought “a detrimental change” to her daughter’s life.
The documents go on to suggest that, before “American Idol,” Barda’s dream was to be an architect. According to her mother, this dream was disrupted thanks to appearing on the reality show. The former singer suddenly dropped everything in order to move to Hollywood to pursue her new dream of stardom. However, according the the documents, it “was a recipe for disaster.” The papers go on to explain that losing the competition was a huge setback for Barda. As the court documents suggest, when the former star was unable to “achieve the results she wanted, it was devastating to her.”
The court documents being released now come after her most recent legal issue.
This most recent arrest comes from 2018 when she was found with a package of pills in her car. That arrest led to bigger trouble when she was accused by prosecutors of being a courier for a drug ring. According to the charges, Barda was one of eight members of the illegal operation that was operated out of Virginia during late 2017 and early 2018.
Barba was able to reach a plea deal for lesser time following this arrest but her attorney is now asking for an even more reduced sentence.
The plea deal she got would still see Barba sentenced to 10 years in jail for her crimes. However, her lawyer is now arguing that the former singer was kept in the dark about the crime ring as a minor player. Besides being unaware that she was working with a drug ring, the former “American Idol” contest’s lawyer argues that she didn’t even know what was in the package she was carrying.
“The extent of Ms. Barba’s involvement in this case is limited to delivering one shipment of drugs and that single instance forms the sum total of her relevant conduct,” the newly released court documents argue. “Ms. Barba also did not participate in any of the planning or organization nor did she exercise any decision making authority. Ms. Barba was told where to go, when to go, and what to do when she got there.”
The court documents go on to explain that the Latina did not profit knowingly from any drugs.
“She did not break down the contents of the package into smaller amounts for resale and she did not collect any proceeds. She had no pecuniary interest in the package and did not stand to benefit in any way by the sale of the narcotics. Ms. Barba was paid only to deliver the package.”