'American Idol' finalist Corey Clark disqualified and booted; replacement uncertain
By Wade Paulsen, 04/01/2003
The Associated Press reports that Corey Clark, one of the nine remaining finalists on American Idol, has been dismissed from further participation in the show for failure to disclose his pending battery charges, effective immediately. No decision has yet been been made about how to handle the show's episodes this week in the wake of his departure.
As discussed here yesterday, The Smoking Gun website had discovered that Clark, who had previously been charged with passing bad checks, was arrested in his hometown of Topeka, Kansas last October and charged with three misdemeanors: battery against his 15-year-old sister, resisting arrest, and criminal restraint. Clark has a court appearance on these charges scheduled on April 15. Within 9 hours of the report being published, Fox issued a press release (see below) booting Corey from the show.
Due to events that have recently come to light, American Idol participant Corey Clark has been removed from the contest.
All participants are required to provide full and accurate information to assist in background checks, including disclosure of any prior arrests. Corey withheld information about a prior arrest which, had it been known, might have affected his participation in the show. Due to his failure to disclose, compounded by an error in a police report which misspelled Corey's name, the incident was not discovered during the background check. The producers and network feel that Corey's behavior warrants his disqualification.
Unfortunately, the search process is not perfect. We regret the error, but the only thing we can do is learn from the incident, continue to improve the background check process, and move on.