Clay Aiken says he “never intended to lie” about being gay; Claymates react

Clay Aiken said that coming out publicly “was the first decision I made as a father. I cannot raise a child to lie or to hide things. I wasn’t raised that way, and I’m not going to raise a child to do that,” he told People in the issue that will be available Friday.

Considering many of his fans have defended him for years and insisted that he’s straight and/or that his personal life should be private, Clay said he wants them to “know that I’ve never intended to lie to anybody at all. … But if they leave, I don’t want them to leave hating me.”

Clay came out to his mother, Faye, four years ago (which, incidentally, we first heard from John Paulus when he revealed to the National Enquirer that he’d had sex with Clay). Clay said, “She started crying. She was obviously somewhat stunned. But she was very supportive and very comforting. … She still struggles with things quite a bit, but she’s come a long way.”

Fan reaction to this news from the Claymates seems to be a mix of sadness, undying devotion and support, and anger that he lied to fans for years. Here’s a selection of responses from the The Clayboard’s discussion, which is a must-read:

strollynn63: “This is a gut wrenching day for The ClayNation. Somebody wake me up, I hope its a dream.”

Holmes24: “please tell me I’m not the only one who is shocked beyond belief! I feel numb I’m so upset. This can’t be real!! How can you guys say this won’t change anything? This changes EVERYTHING. I don’t even know what to think right now.”

returnofaiken: “Nothing has changed. Nothing at all. He’s still the Clay Aiken we drooled over on American Idol. He’s still the same Clay Aiken that melted out hearts in all of his Christmas tours. He’s Clay. And nothing will ever change that.”

plumclayzy: “This will be it for me. I cannot continue to support him financially now that I know he has chosen this lifestyle. My mind boggles when I think about how ‘lied to’ I feel. It doesn’t look like my expressed opinion will be a popular one, but that’s OK.”

clayncfan: “I’ve cried a river of tears and truthfully do not know where I stand right now. I am envious of those who can take this news and continue to state their unconditional love and support for Clay. Right now all I can think of is that he is a fantastic entertainer but I took him at his word and it appears that his word isn’t what I thought it was.”

SidiDenak: “The shock is not about him being GAY, it’s about him not owning up to it when he was being made fun of. He knew that his fans were defending his honor and yet he didn’t say a word to us, he kept us in the dark. If he loved us so much for our support all these years then WHY DID WE HAVE TO FIND THIS OUT FROM A NEWS ARTICLE, MAG, etc.?”

Clay Aiken: I’m a Gay Dad [People]
Upcoming People Magazine Cover and Article – PLS READ [The Clayboard]

The Sing-Off loses its star

Ben Folds

NBC's super-fun December a capella singing competition The Sing-Off is returning, but without its star judge, Ben Folds, and only as a two-hour special. Those are really depressing changes for a series that proved itself to be a super-fun show when it returned last December.


A film director talks about becoming a reality TV character

Anna Martemucci

What is it like to have your life turned into reality TV? Director Anna Martemucci, one of the two directors featured on Starz' exceptional reality series, talks about that, the competition, and her collaboration with her husband and brother-in-law.

Plus: How the show's producers tried to keep the $250,000 competition fair.

about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.