American Idol contestant Matt Farmer, whose audition appeared on the Jan. 30 episode, admitted that he lied on the show about his military service.
Farmer, 26, auditioned in Long Beach, Calif., and appeared on Wednesday's show with his 3-year-old daughter by his side. Before his audition, Farmer claimed he had suffered a traumatic brain injury after being hurt in an IED explosion in Iraq. He also claimed that he was told he wouldn't be able to have children because of side effects from medication he was taking for the injury.
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However, Farmer admitted to fabricating the story on Friday in a long statement on the military service website GuardiansofValor.com. "Everything you have read is correct. It was all lies," he said. "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, who was discharged in 2009, said he took full responsibility for his actions and words, which he said he had started to believe over time. "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. To think that I would go on a national TV show and get away with continuing a lie so big, and so deeply imbedded in my life and brain... is ridiculous," he said. "To everyone but more importantly the men I served with, I am deeply regretful and sorry. My road to figuring out how to make a life built on trust starts now. It starts with getting help. And starts with this message."
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Farmer came forward about his false story after several men he served with overseas accused him of lying on the same website. In earlier messages to the webmaster, Farmer blamed producers on the show for "chopping up" his quotes. "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," he said. "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," he said. "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."
The judges loved his performance of Sam Cooke's "A Change Is Gonna Come" on Wednesday's show and sent him along to the Hollywood round. However, Farmer told the website that he was no longer a part of American Idol. A rep for the show had no comment.
Watch Farmer's audition here: