One would-be “American Idol” who was heading to Hollywood is now heading home.
The contestant, Matthew Farmer, was given the famed gold ticket after auditioning for the show (which aired on Jan. 30). On the episode, Farmer delivered a touching story of serving in Iraq, where he suffered a brain injury from an IED explosion. The singer also claimed that the attack had led to post-traumatic stress disorder and that he was taking medicine that made him sterile.
It turns out the tales were false, according to The New York Daily News. The report states that Farmer now admits that the story was made up, telling website Guardians of Valor that “It was all lies.”
“I am extremely remorseful and very upset that I allowed myself to take from the hard work of the guys that I was deployed with among others,” Farmer reportedly wrote on the site. “To think that I would go on a national TV show and get away with continuing a lie so big…is ridiculous.”
Fox News notes that while Farmer did indeed serve in the Army, he was never actually injured in combat. As a result, TV Guide reports that he is no longer on the show.
However, Farmer is blaming “Idol” producers for making a bad situation worse, accusing them of selective editing for his audition.
However, his fellow soldiers aren’t happy with Farmer’s story. On the Guardians of Valor website, one person who claims to have served with the singer made his opinion clear.
“Matt Farmer is no war hero,” wrote John F. McManus, who claims that Farmer was actually shipped out of Camp Ramadi in Iraq due to a a bad combination of alcohol and acne medicine. “Matt Farmer is a pathological liar that has used the blood, sweat and tears of real, hard working, tough, brave and honorable Infantry soldiers to paint himself as someone he most certainly is not. He doesn’t deserve to be placed in the same category as the centuries of American Infantrymen who fought for and in some cases died for this great land. The truth will come out and Matt Farmer will regret the day he lied to America.”