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Former 'American Idol' finalist Jessica Sierra gets media order lifted

By Christopher Rocchio, 04/15/2009 

Jessica Sierra is free to reappear in the public eye.

Hillsborough County Circuit Judge Gregory Holder has lifted a ban that had prevented the former American Idol fourth-season finalist and Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew participant from appearing in front of cameras and microphones, The Tampa Tribune reported Wednesday.

"I could have totally run over and kissed the guy," Sierra said of Holder, according to The Tribune.

In January 2008, Hillsborough County Circuit Court Judge Daniel Perry ordered Sierra stay at least 100 yards from microphones and cameras because he didn't want her to use treatment on Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew as a way to aid her celebrity status and thus "glamorize" being a drug addict.

Perry's ruling had prevented Sierra from participating in Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew's second season after her first-season stint proved to be unsuccessful.

Following filming for Celebrity Rehab's first season in Fall 2007, Sierra was arrested after she was being booted from a Florida bar and allegedly became physically and verbally combative with police.  She was charged with disorderly intoxication, resisting arrest without violence and probation violation before subsequently pleading not guilty.

However Sierra was subsequently sentenced to a yearlong stint in rehab followed by three years probation. 

Her attorney Stephen Iglesias told Holder that Sierra completed the in-patient treatment program and has tested drug free for the past 18 months.

"So far she's been doing great," he told Holder, according to The Tribune.

"I think [Holder] was surprised I stayed sober," added Sierra.

Despite the positive results from her treatment, Assistant State Attorney Felix Vega said he felt Holder should have kept the restrictions in place since one of Sierra's own counselors had previously spoken in favor of them.

"He said she needed to be out of the spotlight to help her recovery," Vega told The Tribune. "She is not to make a career out of her addiction and the crimes she committed."

Sierra said she plans to record a "bluesy, kinda rock" CD about her life on drugs and her rehabilitation and is also interested in making a reality show about her life to inspire others.

"I tell the kids my story and how drugs affected my life," she told The Tribune.

Since Sierra is still in probation, Holder reminded her that any slip-ups would result in a 10-year prison sentence, according to The Tribune.

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