4:00pm PT by THR Staff
'America's Got Talent' Contestant Submits Fake Soldier Photo for Broadcast (Video)
The stuttering country singer featured on this week’s episode of America’s Got Talent has come under fire for allegedly lying about his military background.
Claiming to have served 14 years in the military, Timothy Poe told AGT judge Howie Mandel that he had been hit with a grenade in Afghanistan resulting in a broken back and brain injury, which led to his current stutter. Poe provided photos for the broadcast, which he claimed were from his time overseas.
Now, Staff Sgt. Norman Bone says that he is the one actually depicted in the photo and that Poe’s story was a lie. “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.”
According to TMZ’s report, Bone says he has never heard of Poe and plans to meet with the Army legal department to explore his options.
The photo in question was originally posted on the U.S. Department of Defense website with a caption reading: “U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Norman Bone directs movement as his patrol turns around on a narrow path in the mountains of Parwan province in Afghanistan on Oct. 25, 2006.”
A rep for FremantleMedia, the production company behind AGT, American Idol and The X Factor, released the following statement: “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."
Poe has yet to comment on the allegations. Watch his AGT audition in the video below.