America's Got Talent: Stuttering Soldier's Military Claims Come Under Fire
Timothy Michael Poe | Photo Credits: NBC
America's Got Talent contestant Timothy Michael Poe may be a talented singer, but it appears he might also be a talented liar.
When the stuttering Poe stepped onto the AGT stage Monday night, he won over the hearts of the judges with his rendition of Garth Brooks' "If Tomorrow Never Comes" and his inspiring story of surviving a grenade attack while serving in Afghanistan. Poe claimed his speech impediment was the result of a brain injury suffered after being hit by a grenade.
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"I had volunteered for a team to go out and clear buildings and help out with the wounded," Poe said during the audition. "There was a guy who came up with a rocket-propelled grenade. I saw it coming down, and by the time and I turned and went to jump on top of my guys, I yelled 'grenade' and the blast had hit me."
But according to ABC News, the Minnesota National Guard has no military record of Poe's alleged combat injuries. Poe's alleged injuries and stutter aren't the only things being called into question. It has also been revealed that the photo of a soldier which aired during Poe's audition isn't of the aspiring singer. The photo in question is of Staff Sgt. Norman Bone who, after being urged by a fellow soldier to watch Poe's audition, was shocked to see his own face broadcast on national television.
"First thing that came to my mind was 'Why would this lying son of a bitch do this," Bone told TMZ. "I'm absolutely furious. Been seeing red all day."
A spokesperson for FremantleMedia North America, which produces AGT, issued the following statement to TVGuide.com: "We sincerely apologize to U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Norman Bone for using a photo of him in our story on Tim Poe. It was supplied to us by Tim and used on the show in good faith. It has now been removed and will not be used again."
Bone is currently planning on meeting with the Army legal department to explore his options. Poe has not yet commented on the allegations.