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They dubbed him the “Gentle Giant,” but in real life, Jermaine Jones might be the exact opposite of his American Idol image.
The six-foot-eight, soft-spoken singer from Pine Hill, N.J. was suddenly the subject of controversy on Tuesday when word broke of the 25-year-old’s disqualification from the Fox show’s eleventh season. According to TMZ, Jones had been concealing “multiple crimes” and he soon announced his exit on Twitter, writing: “Awww I will no longer b on the show.”
On Wednesday, hours before Idol‘s weekly performance show, The Smoking Gun reported that Jones has a grand total of five outstanding arrest warrants against him in New Jersey. Citing court records, the site said the fallen Idol has a criminal history that spans three counties and neglected to show up in court on charges stretching back six years.
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According to The Smoking Gun, the voice coach was arrested twice in Camden County last year: once in March, when he purportedly used the fake moniker “Joel Jones” in an effort to “avoid being apprehended on outstanding warrants for his arrest”; the other time, in November, for lying to police with the name “Kareem D. Watkins.” (View the court documents here and here.)
The Hollywood Reporter was unable to reach authorities for comment on Jones’ record.
The singer, who cultivated an Idol persona as a polite and devoted son to his mother, was arrested in 2006 on narcotics charges, in 2008 for an open container violation and the following year for once again giving police the wrong name, the site said.
Meanwhile, conspiracy theories abound. THR‘s music editor Shirley Halperin wondered whether producers knowingly plotted the Jones scandal in advance to boost ratings, among other tactics, since the show is typically so thoroughly vetted. Earlier this week, Jones’ father came out of the woodwork to shoot down reports that he and Jones were not close, telling TMZ that contrary to his son’s dead-beat dad backstory, they had gone out to dinner in L.A. as recently as last week.
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