Before Matt Farmer made Randy Jackson smile with his rendition of Sam Cooke‘s “A Change Is Gonna Come,” he explained the significance of his tattoos — apparently, a tribute to US soldiers who hadn’t survived as he had. According to his American Idol introduction (which you can watch here), Farmer was lucky to be alive after having sustained a brain injury caused by an IED explosion in Ramadi, Iraq. It was a heartwarming story that has taken a rather bizarre turn.
Soon after the episode aired, soldiers claiming to have served with Farmer began poking holes in his story, saying he was not injured in combat, but was instead released due to a seizure caused by alcohol and medication. “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,” a former roommate stated. Farmer subsequently released a couple statements to Guardian of Valor in which he admitted his Idol story was fabricated. “Everything you have read is correct. It was ALL lies,” he said in the second statement. “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 initially tried to pin some of the blame on Idol, saying they misrepresented him and took editorial liberties with his segment. But Farmer owned up to the falsehoods and expressed remorse in the second statement, saying “I do in fact take FULL responsibility for the actions and words I have said, and know that this will never go away. In NO way was I looking to take from everyone who has served. I started to believe my own lies…The lies end here.”
American Idol has yet to issue a statement addressing the controversy.
[via The Hollywood Reporter]