From American Idol to illegal drug bust…
The former “American Idol” contestant facing a decade behind bars on federal drug trafficking charges blamed the ABC show for sending her on a downward spiral that eventually led to her arrest.
Antonella Barba, a season six American Idol contestant, pled guilty to 10 counts of drug distribution and one count of conspiracy to distribute. The state filed the first charges, accusing her of selling or intending to sell 100+ grams of heroin.
Prior to the hearing, her attorney, James Broccoletti, had filed paperwork in court, contending his client — a first-time offender — should receive a light sentence.
The filing, obtained by Fox News, argues Barba fell victim to the pitfalls of the fame she experienced after her run on the long-running reality show.
“One of the common themes is that the American Idol experience brought about a detrimental change in Ms. Barba’s life,” the filing states.
The papers also include testimony from Barba’s mother, who indicated her daughter’s abrupt move to Los Angeles after her time on American Idol was “a recipe for disaster.” In addition, the mother apparently said being voted off of the signing competition “was devastating to her,” derailing her dreams and leading her down a primrose path, leading to her arrest in 2018.
Barba competed on Idol in 2007, alongside eventual winner Jordin Sparks. She made it to the top 16 in Season 6. During her stint on the show, she also made headlines because of racy photographs that surfaced showing, among other things, her wearing only a wet T-shirt and underwear at the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C.
After Idol, Barba appeared in a 2012 episode of Fear Factor and in 2017’s film All About the Money. Beyond that, she performed the national anthem at a Los Angeles Dodgers game in 2018.
After she pled not guilty and the investigation continued, the Federal Government involved itself and administered the charges to which Barba eventually pled guilty.
These charges carry a mandatory minimum sentencing of 10 years. Her hearing in November could result in a life sentence, though judges rarely administer the maximum sentence. On top of her considerable jail time, Barba also faces a fine of $10 million for trafficking.
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