PORTLAND — Two-time “American Idol” contestant Jessica Cunningham is scheduled to go before a real judge this month after being arrested Sunday night on charges of domestic violence following the Old Port Festival.

Cunningham, 25, whose married name is Candage, was spotted in front of 468 Fore St., the Portland Harbor Hotel, by a Portland police officer who said it appeared she was holding her husband back from walking toward the officer.

When Officer Chris Hawley approached the couple at 7:45 p.m., he reported seeing Candage punch her husband, Craig Candage Jr., in the face with her fist several times. The report said Candage had small cuts on his face from the alleged assault.

Hawley separated the couple. Jessica Candage explained that they had been out in the Old Port eating dinner and she had tried to stop her husband from driving, the officer said.

Craig Candage Jr. supported that story on Monday. He said that if anything, he should have been the one in trouble, not his wife.

Jessica Candage was taken to Cumberland County Jail and released on unsecured bail of $1,000, meaning if she does not show up for her court date June 30, she will have to forfeit the money.
She is a Bridgton native who lists her current hometown as Yarmouth.

Known during her “American Idol” runs as Jessica Cunningham, she made it almost all the way to the final 24 contestants, both last year and the year before. She was praised for her looks and her voice and still sings in southern Maine as well as working as a waitress and hairdresser.

When voted off the show in February, she exited with a degree of infamy, responding to the judges’ rejection by delivering a two-fisted obscene gesture in her final on-screen interview.