Former Australian Idol judge Mark Holden has spoken about show winner Kate DeAraugo's battle with ice, saying her run-ins with the law were an example of the drug's impact on regional Australia.
But her alleged crimes had "nothing to do" with her time on television, the reality show personality said.
Mr Holden's comments come after DeAraugo today fronted the Bendigo Magistrates' Court on drug possession, drug driving and weapons charges.
DeAraugo's lawyer told the court their client intended to plead guilty.
Mr Holden, a judge on the singing show when DeAraugo was crowned, likened ice use to a "a destructive, hideous cancer", one he saw first hand in his new job as a lawyer in Melbourne.
"The situation that Kate is in is nothing to do with Idol, it cuts right across the community," he said.
"She's unfortunately a member of a large cross section of Australia - and America, everywhere around the world - being inundated with this scourge, this epidemic."
Ice use must be treated as a health issue, not a criminal issue, he said, and more rehabilitation spots were needed to treat those in the grip of addiction.
"It's hard for people to get in, it's expensive, sometimes it takes them two or three times to get off," Mr Holden said.
Mr Holden also expressed his sorrow for the loved ones of people battling the “tragedy” of ice addiction.
"I've seen too many examples of beautiful parents trying to deal with an adult child that's out of control and is violent," he said.
"Somtimes you've got to get to rock bottom, before you get better."