For most of America, Kara DioGuardi is best known for her brief and widely dissected stint as a judge on 'American Idol,' and oh yes, flashing her bikini during the season eight finale. But she is much, much more as evidenced in her new memoir, 'A Helluva High Note.' DioGuardi is a Grammy-nominated songwriter whose songs have appeared on massive albums by Pink, Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera, but besides being a talented songster, she writes honestly about her eating disorder, struggles to succeed in a male-dominated business and what she honestly thinks about Simon Cowell.

In our lengthy chat, DioGuardi tells PopEater about her confusing final days on 'Idol' and her up-and-down relationship with Simon Cowell. She also opens up about the trifecta of heartache in the book: she was molested as a child and was date-raped and had a eating disorder in her 20s.

Was this book hard to write?
It was. It's always difficult to go back in time and face the past again. I mean I'm in a different place now, thank God, so I'm kind of coming from a more positive place because I've come through much stronger because of it.