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."