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Theresa

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Another 'American Idol' Kicked Off Fox Show
« on: April 01, 2003, 10:22:12 AM »
Another 'American Idol' Kicked Off Fox Show
Mon March 31, 2003 10:06 PM ET
 
By Steve Gorman
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - It's more than just a talent contest. The would-be pop stars competing on the Fox reality hit "American Idol" seem these days to be running into trouble over past personal scandals.

A month after Fox disqualified a singer from the show amid revelations that she had posed topless on an Internet porn site, the network said on Monday it was expelling another finalist, Corey Clark, who is facing trial on misdemeanor charges of battery against his sister and resisting arrest.

Fox said in a statement that Clark "withheld information about a prior arrest which, had it been known, might have affected his participation in the show."

"Due to his failure to disclose, compounded by an error in a police report which misspelled Corey's name, the incident was not discovered during a background check," Fox said. "The producers and network feel that Corey's behavior warrants his disqualification."

The charges against the 22-year-old Kansas native stem from an arrest at his family's home in Topeka last October, months before he was picked as one of 32 semifinalists for the second edition of "American Idol," which debuted in January.

As of last Wednesday, he was one of nine remaining finalists who could be seen performing on the show twice a week. Fox said no decision has been made about whether Clark will be replaced on the show.

Clark's arrest record first came to light in a report posted on the Web site The Smoking Gun (http://www.thesmokinggun.com), which is known for unearthing obscure legal records dealing with numerous celebrities and entertainment figures.

Clark is the third "American Idol" contestant ejected from the show this year because of a checkered past.

Frenchie Davis, a 23-year-old competitor whose powerhouse vocals dazzled the judges and made her a strong contender for the title, was dismissed from the show in February following the discovery that she posed topless on a porn site that purports to feature pictures of underage girls. Davis was reportedly over 18 at the time.

Earlier, "American Idol" semi-finalist Jaered Andrews was kicked off the program after it came to light that he had been arrested on an assault charge in connection with a bar fight in Pennsylvania that ended with a man's death. Fox officials said they learned of Andrew's arrest on their own after he had made the cut as one of 32 semi-finalists but before the first episode aired in January.

A fourth contestant, finalist Lashundra Cobbins, 22, was arrested on a theft charge in Tennessee in 1999 but has since successfully completed a pretrial diversion program and had her criminal record expunged. Unlike the others, Fox said, Cobbins disclosed her background in advance and was allowed to remain on the show.



Theresa

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Re:Another 'American Idol' Kicked Off Fox Show
« Reply #1 on: April 01, 2003, 10:24:01 AM »
*** 4/1 UPDATE: "Idol" finalist gets the boot.

Another "American Idol" Scandal
Reality show finalist facing trial for battering teen sister
   
 
Mug shot, October 12, 2002  
 
MARCH 31--An "American Idol" finalist is facing trial next month on charges he assaulted his teenage sister and battled with cops while resisting arrest, The Smoking Gun has learned.

Corey Clark, 22, was arrested last October following a disturbance in his family's Topeka, Kansas home. Neighbors called police after hearing a girl yelling inside the Clark residence on SW 33rd Terrace. One witness told TSG that while he heard loud noises coming from the home, "what finally caught my attention was a lot of screaming. Then I knew somebody was getting hurt."

When police arrived, Clark--now one of nine remaining "American Idol" contestants--and his 15-year-old sister Alecia were questioned separately by officers. After about 15 minutes, Clark became confrontational with cops, screaming and yelling at officers, several of whom responded by wrestling the wiry, 6-foot singer to the pavement. Clark was handcuffed behind his back and placed in a Topeka Police Department cruiser.

While sitting in the squad car, he was somehow able to get his cuffed hands in front of him, causing police to yank Clark out of the car and attempt to re-cuff him, the witness said. When he again struggled with officers, a cop showed Clark a Taser and warned that if he continued to resist, he would be shot with the stun gun. Clark then relented.

He was booked into the Shawnee County jail and charged with a variety of misdemeanors, including battery on four law enforcement officers, battery on his sister, and endangering a child. After three days in custody, Clark was released on bond, a condition of which probibited him from contacting his sister. On a bond application form, Clark wrote that he had worked as a "self employed entertainer" for the prior eight years and was "currently enrolling into school for audio engineering."

On December 4, just days after Clark was tabbed as one of the final 234 "Amercan Idol" contestants, he was named in a three-count misdemeanor complaint filed by prosecutors in Kansas District Court. The complaint, which modified the original police counts, charged Clark with resisting arrest, battery upon his sister, and criminal restraint. If convicted of the charges, Clark faces a maximum of a year in prison on two of the misdemeanors, and a max of six months on the third count.

Along with three neighbors and five cops, Kansas prosecutors listed Clark's two sisters--Alecia and 19-year-old Ajia--as prospective witnesses. In preparation for Clark's trial, scheduled for April 15 in Topeka, prosecutors recently began serving subpoenas to those expected to testify as government witnesses.

In late-January, Clark was picked as one of the 32 "American Idol" semifinalists, and he has continued to advance in the competition. He is now one of nine remaining competitors who can be seen performing twice weekly in prime time on Fox Television. Shortly after his October arrest, Clark briefly relocated to Nashville, but he is now ensconced in a Hollywood Hills mansion with his fellow "American Idol" finalists.

The pending criminal charges against Clark were not the wannabe star's first brush with the Kansas court system. In April 2000, he was sued by Wal-Mart for passing more than $600 in bad checks at a Topeka store. One year later, Clark was sued by a Topeka grocery store where he allegedly passed a bad $50 check. In the case of the Wal-Mart lawsuit, it appears Clark made good on the bad paper nearly two years after the retail giant filed its District Courtlawsuit. But that was not before Wal-Mart secured seven separate garnishment orders on Clark's bank account (though those attempts yielded only $49.77 and repeated notices from the Bank of American that Clark's account had "no funds," or was "overdrawn." The grocery store, JM Bauersfeld's, fared better, getting repaid just five months after filing against Clark in District Court.

So, were/are "American Idol" producers aware of Clark's criminal predicament? Well, TSG long ago stopped believing anything that reality TV producers say when it comes to what they did or did not know about a contestant's past. It appears that a combination of Keystone Kops background checks, participant mendacity, and unblinking network indifference has guaranteed that drunk drivers, bankrupt deadbeats, shoplifters, bondage actresses, and assorted convicted criminals will continue to populate reality TV shows.

For its part, Fox has adopted a blanket policy whereby network executives refuse comment "on the private lives of show participants." That's not a bad stance when you consider that this year's original 32 "American Idol" semifinalists included a convicted thief, an Internet porn model, and a guy who's been charged in connection with a fight that ended in the death of a Pennsylvania man. In fact, Fox booted the contestant, Jaered Andrews, a month before he was even arrested for misdemeanor assault.

TSG will venture a guess that Fox knew about Clark's rubber checks, but were unaware that he had been popped for battering his little sister (if true, not exactly "Idol" behavior). Either way, April 15 will turn out to be a taxing Tuesday for him, with Clark scheduled to be in the Topeka dock at 10 AM and, as of now, singing live on TV later that day.
 

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