“American Idol” winner Laine Hardy was arrested last week for planting a listening device in the dorm room of his ex-girlfriend, but the show still allowed the country singer to perform during the show’s 20th anniversary special on Monday.
Fans were furious that Hardy and former contestant Laci Kaye Booth opened the reunion show with a rendition of “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around,” despite a caption disclaimer explaining that the segment had been “previously recorded.”
“Hey @AmericanIdol can y’all be anymore #tonedeaf to what is going on in the world?!? What on earth made you think putting #LaineHardy on the air was a good idea?!?!” Wrote one viewer.
“I’m sorry! Who let the creeper @TheLaineHardy on American Idol tonight? Didn’t know they were letting criminals on now,” added another. “Previously recorded? So maybe don’t show it then…. Careful there @lacikayebooth. He might bug your dressing room…”
Hardy, 21, was arrested last week for hiding a bug in his ex-girlfriend’s on campus dorm room at Louisiana State University in order “to monitor her conversations” after their break-up in February.
“Laine Reed Hardy (Non-LSU student) was arrested by LSU Police today and booked into East Baton Rouge Parish Prison for violation of 15:1303 — Interception and Disclosure of Wire, Electronic, or Oral Communication. His arrest warrant has been filed with clerk of court,” an LSU spokesperson said.
Hardy’s arrest documents revealed that his ex discovered the device under her futon sofa while watching a movie with her roommate. The listening device appeared to be a phone charger, but was actually a VR-500 Voice Activated Recorder. He was released on bail on Friday evening.
The singer released a statement on Instagram acknowledging that he had fully cooperated with LSU police.
“I understand that my career has thrust me into the public spotlight, and I embrace that wholeheartedly as my entire world belongs to my music and my fans,” he wrote. “However, due to the sensitive nature of this allegation, I humbly ask for privacy at this time. I have the utmost respect for the law and will assist in their investigation as needed moving forward.”