Charlie was “in pretty close contact” with Clay Aiken

Newly out American Idol 2 runner-up Clay Aiken was friends online with Charlie Herschel, a cast member on Survivor Gabon.

Charlie said that Clay was “[o]ne hundred percent open” about being gay, and that Clay is “not a close friend of mine. We’ve only hung out, like, twice. I fell out of touch with him for a little while, but there was a point when I was in law school that I was on IM almost every day, so we used to IM almost every day. But we haven’t spoken since I got back from Africa, so he doesn’t even know I was on Survivor. But there was a point, up through when I left for Survivor, where we were in pretty close contact,” Charlie told the Advocate

The magazine reports that the two “started chatting on social networking site Connexion.org during the whole Kelly Ripa hand-over-the-mouth hubbub, and those early chat fests developed into a casual friendship.”

Charlie adds, “I was pretty surprised that he came out, just because he seemed pretty adamant about being private about that sort of stuff with the public. He’s open with his family and friends and everything though.” He says he’d “definitely would be open to” hanging out with Clay again now, since Clay is in New York for Spamalot.

Gay Survivor Spills a Reality Secret [Advocate]

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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.