American Idol 12 Contestant Admits He Lied About Military Service

American Idol 12 Hollywood contestant, Matt Farmer has finally admitted that he lied about his service in Iraq. For more on the controversy, check out this link. The story he spun to Idol producers during his audition in Long Beach, about being injured by an IED in Iraq, was a fabrication created by Matt.

After the evidence mounted against him, Matt released the following statement to Guardian of Valor

Everything you have read is correct. 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. Just so everyone knows I’m not reviving any sort of disability for Tbi. Let it also be known that I left country 2.5 months before the rest of the unit came home, I stayed in the army PAST my ETS date and was released from full service (wether active or reserve) in 2009.

I do in fact take FULL responsibility for the actions and words I have said, and know that this will never go away. In NO way was I looking to take from everyone who has served. I started to believe my own lies. And after I believed them… I would catch myself talking like it had happened to me my entire life. To the gentleman above who talked about going to the VA I am doing just that, the “cocktail” u refer to Has been my deterrent for the last couple of years as I feel like when I was medicated while at FT sill and even at Schwinefurt It was never “correct”. Never the less.

The lies end here. I want to base the life I have left on nothing but what is real and genuine and in the here and now. I am EXTREAMLY remorseful and VERY upset that I allowed myself to take from the hard work of the guys that i was deployed with among others. To think that I would go on a national tv show and get away with continuing a lie so big, and so deeply imbedded in my lfe and brain… Is rediculous. Hindsight is always 20/20. The work the blue spader a did overseas was impeccable and I regret that I took from that. To EVERYONE but more importantly the men I served with, I AM DEEPLY REGRETFUL AND SORRY. my road to figuring out how to make a life built on trust starts now. It starts with getting help. And starts with this message.

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. I indeed have many many things to work with and need to get alot of help doing it. Again I appologize to everyone that I have come across and hurt or lied too.

I at no time was a sniper, was never deployed to Afghanistan, did a single tour in Iraq, and was never at any time hit or wounded by an IED

Matt farmer

Pathological liar. Sad. I hope he’s getting the help that he needs, at the very least for his family’s sake.

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  • Maj

    O.o This is just so sad. Not sure if I hope at least the daughter is is or if I hope she isn’t. Like seriously. No idea what more to say.

  • dabney c

    Oh, gosh. That’s some serious fabricating, isn’t it. I suppose it’s brave of Matt to openly admit it and face the fallout, but, jeez .. how does one even get to that point in the first place? 

  • lufausljc

    Wow, he lied about a very sensitive issue. Like mj said, pathological liar and to imagine his wife was probably on it too (if she is even his wife), these people deserve no sympathy. 

  • James M.

    My grandma said she heard that he and his wife are separated and she didn’t know he was taking the kid to the show.

    Good on him to man up and admit it…. but damn, that’s pretty big.

  • Niall

    Well, that’s that. LOL

    I hope he’s seeing a good therapist. If indeed that was his daughter, she deserves better than a dad stuck in a fantasy life.

  • James M.


  • Ratna12

    Are you kidding me ?

  • Team Candice Glover


  • tucker davis

    Makes you wonder if any of the stories are verified before they’re aired…of course some are so personal that it’s probably impossible to tell if they’re exaggerated.

  • dabney c

    Oh, I dunno. I’d say this is on par with theft of a laptop. It’s theft of people’s sympathies, theft of people’s trust, theft of honour that belongs to others who really did serve in dangerous combat … and on and on.

    Still, he did own up to the lies, and it sounds like this experience is one of those turning points in life.  What else can we do but wish him well in battling whatever demons brought him to this moment.

  • Jake W.

    Please tell me this dude doesn’t make it to voting rounds. He doesn’t deserve a spot in the live rounds.

  • Miss Chaos

    Maybe thats why the little girl had such a sad face, thinking Liar Liar Pants on Fire, DAD!!!

  • Bug Menot

    I liked the “new” him apart from him stating “rediculous” in his statement. 

  • LeahKittyS

    Don’t worry, he doesn’t.

    (Don’t click if you don’t want SPOILERS!)

  • chris99x

    Well, kudos to him for coming clean so quickly. Future liars, take note. Hope he’s able to change his path. 

  • sue

    OMGosh! Seriously? To think I actually thought he had a good voice. lols 
    I think he is hiding something else, ya know the one that involves a closet. Oops……I wonder how many more contestants on idol have lied?

  • Cory Patrick ??

    But why? I don’t understand why he would do something like that. It’s disgusting! 

  • Tess

    Having lived with a pathological lier and have him turn my life upside down I know first hand how people with this personality trait get so caught up in the lie that they loose sight of the truth and can’t really remember what is a lie and what isn’t.  Even if they admit to the lie at some point they rarely understand the consequences of lying and will continue to do so, they just don’t get that others can be hurt by the lie.

    Not condoning anyone and have no tolerance left for people who do this but I do understand that it isn’t intended by them to be hurtful or harmful.  Many just don’t grasp the entire concept.

  • dabney c

    Well, good news! Looks like reports of Idol’s demise have been greatly exaggerated. CNN’s “The Situation Room” with Wolf Blitzer is reporting the Matt Farmer story. I just saw a 5 minute piece about it with interviews and everything!  

  • tomr

    Sads…he was my favorite that night too.  Another reason to de-emphasize the back stories.

  • sdmama

    I understand TV shows like this like ‘drama’ and contestant lying may be a part of drama. But this one does not sit well on me because it is insulting to the rest of the troops who are fighting and getting hurt for real.  It feels like he took advantage and abused the credit and sentiment towards other people, those who are supposed to be his friends. 
    And, when was this filmed? Don’t producers do any background checking? They went to the fire station, so we know that that guy is not laying about his occupation. And it was not even a sob story!  If they decide to to go for this type of sob story, I wish they did some more work and talked to people who were in the same battalion, at least. Big yikes.

  • IvanG

    I knew something was wrong with his story.. He never talked about what happened with his “brain injury” afterwards.. so sad.

  • Montavilla

    Well, I stand corrected. 

    I’m not sorry for waiting for his confession to condemn him.  I’m glad he came clean.

  • Kesia Monteith

    Wow, CNN, really? I mean, sure some attention for Idol, but at best this is negative press, and CNN couldn’t find better news to report?  

  • Ria

    I am having deva vu.  Didn’t someone else in a recent year lie about military service?

  • Jordana33

    Maybe he’s a pathological liar, but I wouldn’t be surprised if his bigger problem was substance abuse.

  • ShannonM

    My only child who just turned 20 on Tuesday (yes he shares a birthday with Adam Lambert!) is presently serving in Afghanistan as an Infantryman…  I am very reactive to anyone who would lie about their military record, viewing their scam as being disrespectful to the true heroes but am surprised to find I feel more pity than anger toward this guy.  Exposure to combat does irreversibly change those who experience it at any level and it seems this guy was left with a deepened sense of inadequacy about himself.  I wish him well in his quest for attaining emotional wholeness through counseling- am guessing he wrestles with Borderline Personality Disorder which IS treatable although successs rate is low, largely due to the level of honesty the individual has to achieve within as well as with their therapist.  I don’t view him as a victim but also not really as a perpetrator eiher.  He harmed himself more than anyone else IMHO…

  • Maj

    they did. but I don’t remember who and where. anybody?

  • Incipit


    America’s Got Talent – not giving the poseur more notice by posting a name.

    Check the first sentence of the first thread mj posted about this latest ‘person’.

    American Idol Contestant Accused of Lying About His Military Service

    Uh oh. It happened on American’s Got Talent over the summer. Now it looks like we may have another fake military story from a reality show contestant.

  • Karen C

    I kind of thought something was off too, the timing of events didn’t seem right to me, because of the severity of the injuries he claimed, and the age of his daughter. It seemed like he would still have more effect than he claimed.


  • Karen C

    But why? I don’t understand why he would do something like that. It’s disgusting!

    Because he probably wouldn’t have gotten through to the televised audition rounds without it.   I remember he had a good voice, but his story probably set him apart enough in order to go through to the judges. 

    I kind of wonder how many other stories are exaggerated for this reason, but I think lying about military service is about the worst I’ve heard.

  • Maj

    Oh! That’s why I don’t remember the details. I don’t watch AGT but must have read abt it here. :) Thanks Incipit!

  • Ria

    Thank you Incipit!  I completely missed MJ’s earlier blog when he was first being accused of lying about this.
    I think Idol should put a little more efforts into verifying the back stories for contestants they are putting thru. I remember there were a number of odd things about his story but Idol didn’t portray him as a joke contestant. They chose to play up these stories from him without checking them.

  • tucker davis

    I guess we have heard so many sob stories on these shows now that they don’t have the impact they once did. And I tend to feel that many are exaggerated. Of course, ones like the child with CF are truly heartbreaking, but others make me suspicious. Working in schools, I know that anyone who has ever been in school could probably tell a story of being bullied…that’s not to say it’s not a very real problem, just that it’s also easily exaggerated and impossible to disprove. I personally wish these stories weren’t highlighted. Have any contestants with these stories ever won? I know Fantasia was a poor single mom, but that’s not news in my neck of the woods, and Danny had a real tragedy and ended up 3rd. But the majority of the Top 10 every year advance without these stories. It seems to just get them the initial notice…guess with so much competition,that’s actually why the contestant uses it.

  • Incipit

     Have any contestants with these stories ever won?

    IDK, tucker davis, but come to think of it, not the only winner I ever voted for, and not any other of the contestants I have paid attention to, or the very few I voted for – they had no Sob Stories at all – not that I recall.

     It seems the need to use an OTT Sob Story in the first place to get attention and votes automatically removes the contestant from my consideration…I suppose I really dislike that gimmick.

    In this case, the Sob Story being an egregious lie made it doubly distasteful.


  • dabney c

    Have any contestants with these stories ever won?

    That’s a very good point that I never gave much thought to! It seems the vast majority of Idol winners and post-Idol success stories are contestants who didn’t play up personal tragedies, but rather, focused on their music and dreams.
    Imagine if David Cook’s audition intro package harped on his brother’s struggle with brain cancer, and how David was “doing it for him” and all those typical sob-story Idolisms. I wonder if his journey would have been the same.

  • Ria

    I think of Danny as the major example of a contestant who placed high and had a true sob story that was prominently featured.  Crystal also had diabetes and had some family issues that were featured.  Both of them were also good contestants and have done well after the show.  I am not sure if their stories hurt them at all.  In Danny’s case I never took him seriously because I was so turned off by the repeated focus on the sob story. So he lost my possible support. But he also gained a lot of support and recognition from others because of the story.
    Many lower placed contestants have probably stayed at least an extra week or 2 because of sob stories.  So, sadly, I think in the competition the stories don’t really hurt a good contestant and they probably only help any contestant get thru the early rounds.

  • Pippygirl

    I don’t know if having a sob story help or hurts a contestant. I think what has been shown by What Not To Sing, is that just being featured prominently during auditions (not matter what the reason) greatly helps a contestant go further in the show.

  • girlygirltoo

    I think Danny’s sob story actually worked against him, because the producers pounded it into our heads week after week that Danny was a widower. Yes, it was very sad that he lost his wife, but after awhile, I know a lot of people, including myself, got sick and tired of hearing this. And I know there are some people who believed Danny deliberately used this tragedy to try and get more votes. Would he have won S8 if the producers had backed off of using the story of his wife’s death week after week? Who knows — but I do think that in at least some people’s minds, Danny went — perhaps unfairly — from a sympathetic contestant to an annoying one who was being overpimped just because of his backstory.

    I don’t think any of the winners have ever had a sob story that got pushed a lt. Fantasia may have come closest, as we knew all about her being a single mom who was struggling to support her daughter. But I also remember seeing a lot of people saying that they wouldn’t vote for her because they didn’t approve of her lifestyle (aka having a kid without being married). So her backstory wasn’t one that automatically worked in her favor.

    Besides David Cook’s brother having cancer, the producers didn’t use Kris’ backstory about him almost dying when he was on one of his mission trips. Who knows whether they would have gone on to win if those backstories had been pushed hard for weeks on end.

  • hillstreetblooz

    Dude has some serious issues going on that need to be addressed ASAP, away from the fishbowl and the glare of lights, camera, TMZ and Idol. Manning up to admit what I hope is the truth about his problem is the 1st step. I hope he’s strong enough to take the next, and get the help he needs for his and his family’s sake.

  • fuzzywuzzy

    What I didn’t like about Danny was that he wore his wedding ring while on the show, but not when he wasn’t performing, like it was a reminder to the viewers.

  • Miz

    If you read his comments on that website, he says he was cut in Hollywood. He’s not supposed to talk about it, but he is.

    A woman who claims to be his ex-wife and the mother of the child also posted there as did his ex sister-in-law, and another woman who might be wife #2. LOTS of people who know him posted and the stories just keep mounting. Extensive lies, bad checks, etc.

    He had no choice but to come clean with all the evidence against him. The guy definitely needs a good shrink and it’s not due to his time served.

  • Miz

    That little girl did not seem warm to him at all. In fact quite miserable. She lit up when she went to the arms of whomever the woman was waiting outside for him.

  • forwarddad

    I don’t think it’s right to present contestants who have/had life threatening illnesses as part ofbthe audition. First it puts the judges in an awful position – they look heartless if they don’t send these contestants especially kids through.

  • N

    This guy has more than just a lying problem.  His apology is fully of typos, grammatical errors, and spelling mistakes.