Nikki McKibbin Blames Simon Cowell for Alcohol, Drug Addiction

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Nikki McKibbin finished third on the inaugural season of American Idol.

Since then, the singer has faced a drug and alcohol problem... which she blames on Simon Cowell.

"I came out of Idol with a lack of self-confidence," McKibbin told Us Weekly. "I think I had my first solo in school when I was 5, and I got more as I got older: That's the biggest compliment in choir. I had never been told I wasn't good enough. Having to hear it for so many weeks from Simon Cowell killed me inside. I couldn't get the s--t he had said to me out of my head."

Nikki McKibbin claims Simon Cowell increased her heavy drinking and drug use.

McKibbin said she would sneak vodka into the house where American Idol finalists stayed, adding that Cowell's insults "drove me deeper into my depression. I wouldn't say that this was Simon's fault. It just added to the addict that I already was."

Look, we're not about to judge someone that's gone through such difficult times.

But Mckibbin loses a bit of credibility for complaining about treatment on one reality show... and then joining another one. Indeed, the singer says she's now sober, thanks to her participation on the second season of VH1's Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew.

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About 6 years ago I wrote a book called "20 Good Reasons to Stay Sober (even if you don't have a drinking problem)". Articles like this continue to confirm my battle cry regarding the dangers of alcohol use/abuse. www.ReasonsToStaySober.com Dave