A woman who was a contestant on the TV shows “American Idol” and “Fear Factor” faces a federal indictment charging her with conspiracy to distribute cocaine, heroin and fentanyl. The Virginian-Pilot reports that Antonella Barba, 32, is accused of working as a courier for a “large-scale drug ring.”
Barba, who competed during season six of “American Idol,” was arrested back in October in Norfolk, Va., and was originally charged in Norfolk General District Court. She had been out on bond while awaiting trial in state court, but was taken back into custody Monday on the federal indictment, the Virginian-Pilot reports. A detention hearing was set for today in U.S. District Court in Norfolk.
According to a court document unsealed this week, Barba was trying to deliver almost two pounds of fentanyl when she was arrested.
“According to the indictment, Barba — who has a felony marijuana case pending in Kansas — was one of several members of a drug conspiracy that was active in Hampton Roads from at least late 2017 through the fall of 2018,” the paper reports. “Many of her co-defendants are not in federal custody and large sections of the indictment remain redacted.”
Barba, who made it to the top 16 during her season on “American Idol,” became the focus of a controversy after semi-nude photos of her were leaked online. “Idol” came under fire for allowing her to compete on the show after Frenchie Davis, a contestant during season two, had been disqualified under similar circumstances.
No stranger to controversy, Barba also made headlines around the same time for posing in a wet T-shirt at the World War II memorial in Washington.
The Virginian-Pilot adds: “Her other TV and film credits include ‘Fear Factor’ and the 2017 movie ‘All About the Money.’ Comedian Jimmy Kimmel brought Barba on his show last year for a ‘Where Are They Now?’ segment alongside other ‘Idol’ contestants.