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HOME > American Idol > American Idol 6

Sanjaya Malakar says he's not gay, just "understands women"

By Christopher Rocchio, 04/26/2007 

Former American Idol 6 finalist Sanjaya Malakar said he's not gay, just a sensitive, straight male.

"I got teased in school because people figured I must be gay because I understand women," said Malakar in the April 27 issue of People. "I think that's why guys didn't like me - because I got along with girls so well. When I went up to girls they would give me a hug and a kiss on the cheek like I was their gay friend. But I was the straight guy that understood them."

The 17-year-old Federal Way, WA resident's parents divorced when he was only 3-years-old, which caused him to grow closer relationships with his mom Jillian Blith and his sister Shyamali.

"I've always gotten along with girls better because I was raised by women," Malakar told People.

Even if some viewers didn't believe Malakar was heterosexual while watching him weekly during his run on Idol's sixth season -- which mercifully came to an end prior to the season's Top 6 being revealed -- he was quite the darling of young girls.  But if some "fanjayas" are thinking of trying to get closer to the single singer, they may want to back-off a bit.

"I had a girlfriend but she became clingy, and I didn't want to get into a really serious relationship because I was 16," Malakar told People.  "I just wanted to date and have fun."

If rumors about Malakar's sexuality begin to grate on him, he could get some advice on how to deal with it from Idol's second season runner-up Clay Aiken, who's been denying rumors he's gay for the past four years.

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