American Idol season 12 contestant Matthew Farmer has admitted that his story of suffering from a traumatic war injury was a fabrication.
Farmer, a handsome 26-year-old singer who seemed like a lock for the Idol crown. He had a strong audition, scoring points by bringing in his cute daughter, Cadence, and told a compelling story of military service and receiving a life-threatening injury in Kuwait.
For extra heartstrings, he claimed to host Ryan Seacrest that the medicine he was taking to heal the brain injury made him sterile, thus his daughter's birth was a miracle. He went even further, telling judges Randy Jackson, Mariah Carey, Nicki Minaj, and Keith Urban that he was dedicating his audition to his friends in service.
Fox News reports he now says that he will no longer compete on the show after it was discovered he completely made up the story about sustaining a brain injury in an IED explosion in Iraq.
"It was ALL lies," Farmer wrote in a statement to Guradianofvalor.com. "I in fact HAVE lied since a younger age and had a problem with it. I am coming out and making a statement (even though I was instructed not to) because I DO want to come clean."
Farmer first denied making the claim at all, stating that Idol producers created the tall-tale through creative editing in his video package. He also said that the photos of himself in the military were stock photos that he did not provide.
"I'm FIRM in the fact that I know I had talked about it over 6 hours of interviews that I discussed certain missions and stuff that we did on a day to day basis," he stated on the website. "Then I mentioned to a producer in an interview that I had an accident while in country and remember 'waking up in Kuwait.' This is where this was all pieced together. I am sure you have watched the clip and can realize that it is chopped up."
However, fellow soldiers that served with Farmer took to another website, StolenValor.com, to call him out on his facts. The "brain injury" in question was not from combat, they said, but from an overdose of acne medication and alcohol, which is forbidden in the military.
“I was a sniper section leader attached to his company and lived in the same room with him until he was medevaced from Ramadi because he got drunk while he was taking Accutane,” wrote a soldier who claimed to be his roommate. “He was never involved in one single direct fire engagement, was never wounded, and made up this whole lie to try and make his story sound good to American Idol."
Although Farmer is denying claims that he was kicked out of the army and Iraq, he said he is now going to tell the truth from now on.
"I was told to keep quiet and not talk to anyone, and I have decided that what’s best for me and my family is to come out and end the insanity," Farmer wrote. "I indeed have many many things to work with and need to get a lot of help doing it. Again I apologize to everyone that I have come across and hurt or lied too."
Watch Farmer's entire audition below: