'America's Got Talent' Contestant Apologizes for Submitting Fake Soldier Photo
"America's Got Talent" contestant Timothy Michael Poe, who has been in question about the validity of his combat injury story, is once again caught in a controversy. This time, he has to defend himself after sending a picture of another man in combat, which was claimed to be taken from his time overseas, for the show's broadcast.
"I must have sent the wrong picture from my hard drive to 'AGT'," so Poe admits. "I was trying to hurry and get the picture to them that I did not take the time to really make sure. I apologize." He goes on reasoning, "[Show producers) kept pushing me and pushing me saying 'You need to put these out. You need to put these out.' "
Poe offers his apology after Staff Sgt. Norman Bone spoke up that he's the real man depicted in the picture which was used while the aspiring singer shared his story during his service in the military. "First thing that came to my mind was 'Why would this lying son of a b***h do this?'," Bone told TMZ before adding, "I'm absolutely furious. Been seeing red all day."
Bone heard about the photo from his ex-wife and one of the guys who served with him in Afghanistan. He went on claiming that he has never heard of Poe and plans to meet with the Army legal department to explore his options.
The said photo was originally posted on the U.S. Department of Defense website along with a caption read, "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", has released a statement to address the fake photo. "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," so the rep said.
Poe has been adamant that his story about being injured by a grenade in combat while serving in Afghanistan in 2009 is legit. "My retirement orders say disability resulted from a combat-related injury," he said on Wednesday, June 6, claiming that he had the documents that support his statement.
However, Lt. Col. Kevin Olson, a spokesman for the Minnesota National Guard, has released a statement that contradicts Poe's story. "Sgt. Poe's official military records do not indicate that he was injured by a grenade in combat while serving in Afghanistan in 2009," so he stated.
Staff Sgt. Norman Bone's photo used on "America's Got Talent":
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