She Was A Big Television Star 15 Years Ago. Now, She’s In Prison

@antonellabarba via Instagram

Many people dream of fame and stardom. It can also be easy to believe that people who get that fame have a wonderful life. This isn’t everyone’s opinion. In fact, some people blame fame for taking them to rock bottom.

Back in 2007, a 19 year old girl from New Jersey named Antonella Barba was a contestant on season six of the show “American Idol.” She ended up making it to the top 16 in the singing competition. Yet, she didn’t end up liking what fame did to her life. She didn’t mind singing for the public, but she didn’t like the public knowing personal details about her life.

That was 15 years ago. What has she been up to since? It could be argued that she has hit rock bottom. Barba is currently serving a 48 month prison sentence in federal prison. In July 2023 she pled guilty to possessing 830 grams of fentanyl and intending to distribute it.

What’s interesting is that in the court documents filed by her attorney, Barba blames “American Idol” for her criminal behavior. Barba’s mother also blames the show. In a letter, her mother shared her opinion that “American Idol” “intruded and interrupted her … dream of a career in architecture.” She claims that being on the show is “where it all went wrong.” Her mother added that Barba’s “sudden move to Hollywood following ‘American Idol’ ‘was a recipe for disaster.'”

In addition to blaming “American Idol” for Barba’s criminal behavior, Barba’s attorney also blames Barba’s mental health. Court documents state that in 2018 Barba was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, anxiety disorder and narcissistic personality disorder.

Barba’s attorney argued, “The most probable reason that Ms. Barba finds herself before this Court is that her inability to come to terms with her lack of success in the entertainment industry exacerbated her then undiagnosed mental illness.”

Instead of feeling sorry for herself or wishing she could change the past, Barba is moving forward and trying to do something positive during her time in jail. She is currently working on a book about her childhood, her time on “American Idol,” her arrest and the hard lessons she learned along the way.

Do you find it odd to blame a show like “American Idol” for criminal activity 15 years later?