Three-year-old almost drowned while her mother watched American Idol

A 3-year-old is in critical condition because her mother was so compelled by American Idol 7‘s results show last Thursday that she left her daughter alone in a bathtub, where the girl nearly drowned.

Sheila R. Brooks, 25, “left [her daughter] Sirius and her 1-year-old sister, Sereena, in the tub with about 9 inches of water and went into another room to get clothes,” the Indianapolis Star reports.

Her older daughter “stated that they were … watching ‘American Idol’ on TV … and her mother suddenly stated that she forgot and left the two youngest children in the tub,” according to a police report.

Brooks sent her older daughter to get the children, and she “found Sirius submerged and called for her mother,” the paper reports. Brooks was not charged, but the children “were placed in protective custody, police said.”

Mom watched ‘Idol’ while toddler nearly drowned, police say [Indianapolis Star]

about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.