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HOME > American Idol > American Idol 4

Former 'American Idol' finalist Jessica Sierra in trouble over rental car

By Christopher Rocchio, 06/27/2007 

Jessica Sierra apparently doesn't understand the concept of renting.

The former American Idol fourth-season finalist kept a vehicle she rented 12 days past its due date without paying, the St. Petersburg Times reported Tuesday. 

As a result, Tampa's Apple Car Rentals manager Robert Wilson filed a complaint with the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Department on Saturday, according to the Times, in which he claims Sierra failed to respond to a registered letter requesting she return the vehicle and pony-up the dough for her "outstanding debt."

Wilson told the Times that the 21-year-old former Idol 4 finalist rented a 2004 silver Kia Optima on Wednesday, May 23 at a rate of $521 per week, a price that included a fee for Sierra being under 25 as well as an additional cost because she doesn't have her own auto insurance.  While Sierra renewed her use of the car "several times," according to the Times, Wilson said she stopped paying on Wednesday, June 13.  However she reportedly returned the vehicle this past Monday.

"She just said it was a misunderstanding, that's all," Wilson told the Times.

In Wilson's estimation Sierra owes Apple Car Rentals "at least" $643.40, according to the Times, adding the bill could be as much as $893.40 depending on the condition the Kia was returned.  A spokesman for the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Officer could not be reached by the Times to confirm if it had received Wilson's complaint, however Sierra's attorney John Fitzgibbons did confirm his client had been renting the Kia and re-rented it "several times."

Sierra has had her share of legal issues in recent months, as she was arrested around 2AM on Sunday, April 29 and charged with aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, possession of cocaine and introduction of contraband into a detention facility following a night of partying with friends at Tampa's Hyde Park Cafe. She was arrested after police claimed she used a cocktail glass as a weapon -- breaking it over a man's head and causing a gash above his eye -- as well as for having cocaine subsequently found in her purse once she was taken to Hillsborough County Jail.

Sierra has since been sued by the man she hit with the cocktail glass, Wisam Hadad, who was reportedly concerned about "mental and physical damage" he suffered from the altercation.  Sierra claims she mistakenly thought Hadad was a man who spit in her face at the cafe and alleges the cocaine found in her purse was not hers. 

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