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'American Idol' runner-up Justin Guarini says he "lost control" of jet ski in June mishap

By Wade Paulsen, 08/27/2003 

The New York Post reports that original American Idol runner-up Justin Guarini has finally broken his silence about the widely-reported 'jet ski' incident in Texas at the end of June, when he was cited for unsafe boat operation. Justin told US Magazine that he "lost control of [the] jet ski" and that it was a mishap that "anyone could have had."

He also claimed that the 5-year-old girl, whom the reports at the time said that he almost hit, was at least 15 feet away from him, and that he "apologized profusely" afterward. Justin did not, however, explain the contradiction between his statements and the statements made by the girl's father, a Texas city marshal, who told reporters that Justin rolled off the jet ski before it stopped and then ran away laughing.

Justin also said that his fine for the violation, which could have been up to $2,000 and a maximum 180 days in jail, was merely "a couple of hundred bucks." Perhaps the local authorities took Justin's decline in earning power after the flops of his movie with Idol winner Kelly Clarkson and his debut album into account.

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