When the body of a former “American Idol” contestant who was obsessed with Paula Abdul was found outside the "Idol" judge's home Tuesday, several reports suggested that the woman's harsh rejection during her audition on the show may have sparked the downward spiral that ended in her apparent suicide.
But neither the “Idol” judges nor the show are to blame, a well-known psychiatrist told FOXNews.com.
“Goodspeed’s apparent suicide was certainly not just because of her experience on ‘American Idol’” said Dr. Keith Ablow, a FOX News contributor, pointing to the likelihood that Goodspeed, 30, suffered from several other serious mental health issues that led to her death.
“It’s certainly possible that someone who is emotionally vulnerable could be deeply injured by a perceived failure in the public eye,” Ablow said. “But her apparent suicide was certainly not just because of her experience on the show.”
During the Season Five auditions in 2006, Goodspeed's rendition of "Proud Mary" was roundly criticized by “Idol” judge Simon Cowell and rejected by Abdul and judge Randy Jackson.
Goodspeed’s appearance, in addition to her performance, was trashed by bloggers and mocked by Cowell. On her MySpace page — which had not been updated since 2007 — she blogged about her experience:
"It's very hard reading such awful things being written about yourself," she wrote. " ... Just because I made the mistake of trying out for a singing competition before I was even ready vocally, emotionally and physically."
Ablow said Goodspeed may have used her "pathologic obsession" with Abdul as a shield against a number of problems — possibly including a feeling of worthlessness. In her blog, Goodspeed had shown signs of loneliness and depression.
“I have to believe there is something good about me,” she wrote.
Goodspeed's Family Led Authorities to Abdul's Home
Capt. Ross Bonifiglio of the Ventura County Sheriff’s Dept. said Goodspeed’s family had indicated that she was unstable and feared that she might overdose when they filed a missing-persons report. They had not seen her since 11 p.m. Monday.
“The caller informed us that Ms. Goodspeed might be in the area of Paula Abdul’s home, and we notified Los Angeles Police,” Bonifiglio told FOXNews.com.
When her vehicle was located at about 6 p.m. Tuesday, police found a photo of Abdul in the mirror. According to published reports, Goodspeed had been spotted outside Abdul’s home several times over the past few weeks.
In June, the department checked on Goodspeed at her home in Thousand Oaks after deputies received a tip from Los Angeles police that she might be at risk of harming herself, Bonfiglio said.
A source close to Abdul told FOXNews.com that Goodspeed had been aggressively stalking Abdul for as many as six years. According to the source, she would park her car and lurk around the house, but never initiated direct contact with Abdul other than at her "Idol" audition.
According to Ablow, her obsession with Abdul could have easily provided an impetus for her to audition for the show, although her MySpace page indicated that she had desired a career in music.
"Someone in Goodspeed's position might possibly place exaagerated importance on experiences like being picked to audition," Ablow said. "She may have interpreted those moments as added validity to her belief that there was a real relationship [between her and Paula Abdul.]"
In a statement yesterday, Abdul said she was, "deeply shocked and saddened at what transpired yesterday" and that her "heart and prayers go out to her family."
Still, according to the source, Goodspeed had caused her "great concern for a long time."
Representatives from "American Idol" did not comment.
Could "American Idol" Have Known About Her Mental State?
"Idol" contestants are required to sign a release form before auditioning. By signing, they agree to allow the show to reveal information that may be “personal, private … embarrassing or unfavorable,” which may expose them to “public ridicule, humiliation or condemnation.”
According to Ablow, it would be very difficult for “Idol” or other reality shows to screen potential contestants for mental instability.
“It is difficult even for psychiatrists to determine whether or not a person is suicidal,” he said.
A screening process could also raise potential ethical and discrimination issues as well, Ablow said.
Former “Idol” winner Carrie Underwood defended the judging process and Simon Cowell in particular in an interview with FOXNews.com earlier this year.
"[Cowell's] role, I guess, is to be the 'bad guy,' so I get angry when I see contestants up there arguing with him," Underwood said.
FOXNews.com's Hollie McKay and The Associated Press contributed to this report.