NEW YORK - "American Idol" winner Fantasia Barrino reveals in her memoirs that she is functionally illiterate and had to fake her way through some scripted portions the televised talent show, which she won in 2004.
"You're illiterate to just about everything. You don't want to misspell," Fantasia told ABC's "20/20." "So that, for me, kept me in a box and I didn't, wouldn't come out."
The 21-year-old R&B singer says she's signed record deals and contracts that she didn't read and couldn't understand. But the hardest part, she said, is not being able to read to Zion, her 4-year-old daughter.
"That hurts really bad," she said, adding that she is now learning to read with tutors.
In her memoir, "Life is Not a Fairy Tale," which she dictated to a freelance writer, Fantasia also said she was raped in the ninth grade by a classmate. She says the boy was disciplined, but she blamed herself for the attack.
She dropped out of high school that year and became an unwed mother at 17.
This could go either way. Only in America could she have become a millionaire
...but then...how in the world did she get promoted in school?
(Which if she faked it on TV, she obviously faked it in school). It took a lot of guts for her to admit this. Hopefully, it will inspire others who can't read to learn how to do it.
On a related note, they are holding "American Idol" audtions in Greensboro, NC again this year. Who knew NC is such a hot bed of singing talent (Clay, Fantasia)?