fantasia-american-idol_web.jpgNEW YORK — Although Fantasia has garnered her share of sympathy, there are skeptics who are suspicious about the timing of her latest drama.

After being named as the other woman in a bitter divorce case, the former American Idol champ took a mixture of aspirin and sleeping pills. She was hospitalized for three days.

Since then, she has confessed in a Behind the Music special to a suicide attempt, taped new footage for her VH1 reality show and tearfully talked about her tribulations on ABC's Good Morning America — all while promoting her third album, Back to Me, which was just released.

Her manager, Brian Dickens, said there was no talk of delaying the album. The only question was whether Fantasia would be up to promoting it, whether she was “able to handle it.”

“Things that have been misconstrued in the media is that this was a publicity stunt, and that is in no way shape or form true,” Dickens said.

Once she decided to push forward, the 26-year-old singer continued with plans to publicize the album.

She shrugs in frustration at the suggestion that the attempted suicide was a publicity stunt. She’s been criticized before but it still gets her down.

“I didn't need any more press or publicity. It was already going on; I wanted to be away from the press and publicity. I was sick and tired of it,” Fantasia said as she curled up in bed, wearing a low-cut purple gown, at her hotel room Aug. 23.

“If that was the case, there could have been other things that were done for some publicity. I feel like it [is] all nonsense,” she said. “All I can do now is move forward. I'm ready to get back on the road. … We worked so hard on this album. I just want to focus on that and my girl, my 9-year-old daughter.”

She hasn’t told her daughter, Zion, about the suicide attempt; the child was told her mother was on tour.

Fantasia's complicated life has always been part of her persona, going back to when she became a star in 2004 as an American Idol winner who was a high-school dropout and the unmarried mother of a young child.

She has had plenty of turmoil to match her career milestones.

She’s had hit songs, a platinum album and Grammy nominations and she starred on Broadway in Oprah Winfrey’s The Color Purple. She’s also battled bad publicity, endured financial woes — she almost lost her North Carolina home — and had questionable absences from The Color Purple.

But the worst was yet to come. Early August, she was named in court papers filed in North Carolina by Paula Cook, who accused her husband, Antwaun Cook, of having an affair with the singer.

The accusations made headlines, and sent Fantasia over the edge.

“My name was being bashed, what I worked so hard for, again, it seems like it was all going down the drain,“ she said.

She insists she didn't start dating Cook until after he separated from his wife and says they are no longer together.

Besides the emotional damage she endured, Fantasia damaged her kidneys and needs doctor visits to make sure she's OK.

She says she's been enduring pain for years, from family struggles to barbs about her image, but put on a happy face for the public: “I’ve been carrying so much for so long for six years and it just became an overload and it gets to a point where nobody will understand.”

She said a life coach has helped her realize that masking her problems while trying to please and take care of everyone else in her life has to end.

“I have to please myself. What does ‘Tasia want to do when she wake up in the morning? … I have to learn how to say ‘no,’” she said.