Last year, “America’s Got Talent” contestant Timothy Poe apologized after he was accused of faking military injuries, and this year another contestant on another reality show is doing the same.
“American Idol” contestant and Tulsa, Okla., native Matt Farmer apologized Friday for lying about his military injuries after the website Guardian of Valor refuted his story a day after his audition aired.
The 26-year-old Iraq War veteran, accompanied by his 3-year-old daughter, Cadence, sang Sam Cooke’s “A Change Is Gonna Come.” Before his audition, producers shared Farmer’s story that he had been hit by an improvised explosive device, or IED, while serving in Iraq and sustained a traumatic brain injury, while the medication he was subsequently prescribed was supposed to render him sterile, making Cadence something of a miracle baby.
After Farmer’s audition aired, several soldiers claiming to have served with Farmer came forward to the Guardian of Valor website with an alternate account — that Farmer had to be rushed to a military hospital after he began having seizures brought on by mixing acne medication with alcohol.
“I bring this to your attention because as a retired vet, from the same unit as young Matt, I feel that it is incredibly morally unjust to our fallen brothers!” one of the soldiers wrote in a letter to the website.
At first Farmer told the website that “Idol” producers had taken his words out of context. But later, he came clean.
“It was ALL lies. I in fact HAVE lied since a younger age and had a problem with it,” he said in a letter to the Guardian of Valor. “I at no time was a sniper, was never deployed to Afghanistan, did a single tour in Iraq, and was never at any time hit or wounded by an IED.”
Farmer added, “To EVERYONE but more importantly [to] the men I served with, I AM DEEPLY REGRETFUL AND SORRY.”
Though he had received a golden ticket to Hollywood, Farmer later confirmed to Guardian of Valor that he is no longer a part of “American Idol,” although it’s not clear if he was disqualified or simply eliminated during Hollywood week, which has not yet aired.
Fox did not immediately respond to ABCNews.com’s request for comment.