What's a surefire sign that you've made it in Hollywood? People start whispering that you're gay! Of course, you don't have to tell that to Brian Dunkleman, co-host of Fox's summer smash American Idol. Ever since the show debuted earlier this month, fans have been speculating via the Internet about which gender the comic-actor fancies. Further inflaming the debate: Dunkleman's decision not to discuss his personal life with the media. That is, until now...
"I have a girlfriend and I've been with her for a year," the 30-year-old attests to TV Guide Online. "But she doesn't want to be involved with this. We want to have our lives, and when I go to work, it's something completely different.
"Everybody who knows me, knows who I am knows what kind of guy I am," he adds of the gay chatter, which has also enveloped co-host Ryan Seacrest. "Anyone else? I don't really care."
Well, that's not entirely true. During a recent trip online, Dunkleman witnessed Idol worshippers questioning his and Seacrest's sexual orientation, and he was anything but gay about it. "On the message boards there are a lot of people asking, 'Are these hosts gay?' But then, there are six or seven messages after that [saying], 'Why do you care?' It's just ridiculous," he groans. "Personally, I would rather people not think that.... I've got a girlfriend and I'm very happy." He pauses, then adds with a laugh: "There are plenty of women out there who know for a fact that I'm straight, let's just put it that way."
Okay, so nothing funny's going on between Dunkleman and Seacrest but can the same be said for rival judges Simon Cowell and Paula Abdul? Surely, all their bickering is just sexual tension manifesting itself, right? Scoffs Dunkleman: "The only person Simon Cowell is sexually attracted to is himself."