Clay Aiken acknowledges he's gay

Wed Sep 24, 2008 1:04pm EDT
 
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By Jill Serjeant

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Former "American Idol" contestant Clay Aiken has acknowledged he is gay, confirming in an interview with People magazine what most of his fans have suspected for years.

Aiken, 29, a born-again Christian who forged a successful career after being named runner-up in the 2003 "American Idol" television talent show, said he decided to come out after becoming a father in August.

"It was the first decision I made as a father," Aiken told People magazine in an interview for its Friday edition.

"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."

Aiken has dodged questions about his sexuality for years, usually replying that it was his own business.

He told People he came out to his mother four years ago, and said he hoped his fans, dubbed the Claymates, would not desert him. "I've never intended to lie to anybody at all. ... But if they leave, I don't want them to leave hating me."

Aiken has been one of the more successful "American Idol" contestants, releasing solo albums and currently appearing on Broadway in the spoof musical "Monty Python's Spamalot."

In August, Aiken fathered a baby through in-vitro fertilization with his friend, music producer Jaymes Foster. Foster gave birth to a boy Parker on August 8.   Continued...

 
<p>Singer Clay Aiken arrives at the 2006 American Music Awards on November 21, 2006 in Los Angeles. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson</p>