One of the more compelling contestant backstories at the "American Idol" auditions this season belonged to Matthew Farmer.
His audition tugged all the right heartstrings: bringing his infant daughter to the audition, saying he was seeking success for his family, military veteran with a traumatic brain injury, even telling host Ryan Seacrest that the medicine he took for his brain injury made him sterile, thus making his daughter's birth a miracle.
Well, it was all a lie.
Fox News reports that Farmer has withdrawn from the competition following allegations that much of his backstory, including his tale of sustaining a brain injury in an IED explosion in Iraq, was fabricated.
When the story initially broke, Farmer backtracked and claimed that the story was strung together through the magic of editing, and that he was not to blame. With others coming forward to refute his story, Farmer has to his credit stopped hiding behind lawyers and publicists and admitted to making up the tale in a statement online. "It was ALL lies. 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."
He continued, "I'm FIRM in the fact that I know I had talked about it over 6 hours of interviews that I discussed certain missions and stuff that we did on a day to day basis. Then I mentioned to a producer in an interview that I had an accident while in country and remember 'waking up in Kuwait.' This is where this was all pieced together. I am sure you have watched the clip and can realize that it is chopped up."
Fellow soldiers who served with Farmer claim he was not sent home from Iraq due to an injury, but rather from mixing acne medication with alcohol which caused him to fall ill. "I was a sniper section leader attached to his company and lived in the same room with him until he was medevaced from Ramadi because he got drunk while he was taking Accutane," wrote a soldier who claimed to be his roommate. "He was never involved in one single direct fire engagement, was never wounded, and made up this whole lie to try and make his story sound good to American Idol."
Farmer denies this account of his time in Iraq, but insisted in his statement that he was going to tell the truth about the matter going forward.
"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," Farmer wrote. "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."