Clay Aiken Says Sexuality, Private Life Are Nobody's Business

Sept. 21, 2006 — -- Former "American Idol" star Clay Aiken believes that his sexuality and private life are his business and no one else's.

"I've gotten to a point now where I, A., am tired of trying, and B., I feel it's kind of invasive, you know?" Aiken said to "Good Morning America's" Diane Sawyer.

"What I do in my private life is nobody's business anymore."

Since his 2003 "Idol" runner-up performance, Aiken feels almost everyone has assumed the right to ask, "Is Clay Aiken gay?"

"It's one thing to try to be open and talk to people and try to share as much as I can and, and of course I want to," he said. "But at some point it becomes just really rude, you know?"

Aiken said he didn't understand the curiosity, Sawyer's included, about his sexual orientation.

"I don't understand why it's any of your business," he told Sawyer. "I don't think you're rude because I figure, you know, people have a job to do."

"I'm not spending my time with this anymore," Aiken said. "This is a waste of my time."

Aiken said he was not curious about celebrities' private lives, mainly because he was tired of others' curiosity about his life.

In one instance, however, the gossip surrounding the much-discussed breakup of Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt caught his attention.

"The only time I can remember getting caught up into it was that whole Jennifer-Angelina thing. … Just a little bit," he said.

The hardest part of the gossip is what it does to his family, he said.

"Even though stuff about me that I read in the magazines isn't true, it still makes me … lose sleep," he said.

"I hurt, not just for my mother who has to watch it happen and who hurts for me. At least when I was in middle school … I understand why they picked on me."

Aiken still said he was bewildered by the negative attention.

"I don't understand why people are offensive in that way. … I don't get it."

Aiken has taken advice about the situation from his mother.

"You know who you have to answer to -- God and yourself -- and that's it," he said she had told him.

Despite the trauma that the reports have caused, Aiken said his Baptist faith had gotten stronger.

"Are there tolerant Baptists? Absolutely. Are there intolerant Baptists? Oh yes, I'm sure there are," he said.

But the Jesus that he believes in loves all faiths, races and sexual orientations: "Muslim, Jewish, Christian, gay, straight, black, white, everybody."

The pop star is also not averse to fighting back.

In one skit during an appearance on "Jimmy Kimmel Live," Aiken threw Kimmel against a wall after the late-night host apologized for making jokes about him.

"How do you like me now, Kimmel?" Aiken shouted.

As for his fans, Aiken said he hoped that they would judge him on his music, not rumors.

"I hope … people like me for my singing. I hope I sing well enough for people to stick around," he said. "Sometimes I wonder myself, but, you know, that's what I want to do."