LOS ANGELES – First-season "American Idol" finalist Nikki McKibbin is rebutting a report that she had a suicidal breakdown on Feb. 21 over her mother's death last August. McKibbin said the incident has been "blown out of proportion."
"I broke my foot and had a bad reaction to pain medication," McKibbin told The Associated Press on Monday.
The now-married mother of two insists she was never suicidal.
McKibbin also says she was upfront with "Idol" producers about her stripping past seven years ago.
McKibbin, who came in third during the first season of the Fox singing competition, says she stripped for "five or six months" in Fort Worth, Texas. When asked on an "Idol" application if she had any professional dance experience, McKibbin says she wrote: "Yes -- exotic."
Current finalist David Hernandez made headlines last week when it was revealed he steadily worked as a stripper for three years, dancing nude for the "mostly male" clientele at Dick's Cabaret in Phoenix.
McKibbin's advice to Hernandez: Have "no regrets" about his past.
"He did what he did for a reason, whether he loved what he was doing or he needed the money," said McKibbin.