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Earlier this week, people all over the country watching “America’s Got Talent” were touched by the inspiring story of Timothy Poe. Poe, who suffered from a severe stutter during his pre-performance interviews, explained that he sustained his injuries when he saved his unit by diving on a grenade while serving in Afghanistan. His touching story led to a standing ovation despite his mediocre country vocals, along with a trip to Las Vegas for the next round.
It wasn’t until after the show aired, however, that news broke that much of the soldier’s story was a complete lie. Reports quickly surfaced that the 2009 RPG blast never actually happened, and that Poe was never injured in Afghanistan. Anthony Anderson Jr., manager of Stolen Valor, spoke to Fox News, explaining:
“We have found out that (Poe) only served one month in Afghanistan, and left due to an ear infection. He has also said that he never sang before, but we were contacted by an ex-band member who said they performed together for six years.”
As if lying about military service wasn’t bad enough, TMZ uncovered that the photo Poe had given AGT of him in uniform isn’t actually him! The photo which was taken off of the Department of Defense website was actually of Staff Sgt. Norman Bone. Bone, who has never met, or heard of Poe, was livid after hearing about the incident from people he knew watching the show, and rightly so!
“First thing that came to my mind was 'Why would this lying son of a bitch do this?'” ... adding, “I'm absolutely furious. Been seeing red all day.”
Bone is currently working with the Army legal department to explore his options now. “America’s Got Talent” producers have since apologized, explaining to TMZ that Poe gave them the photo and they aired it without questioning him.
It seems as though people that know Poe have no problem exposing the sneaky liar. INSIDE EDITION spoke to Kelly Ballard, Poe’s ex-wife, who claims that Poe is “living a fantasy,” and that she had never heard him stutter before the show. Veterans who served with Poe are also calling him a liar.
When asked why no one from his unit has come forward and confirmed his story, Poe explained, “I was brand new to that unit. No one really knew me.” Does he really think this sounds like a legitimate story? If someone jumped on a grenade for you, I’m sure they would come forward and vouch for you.
The AGT judges have spoken out about the controversy. Howie Mandel told TMZ, “I was blown away that I was totally taken in,” adding, “I'm really angry with the guy.” While Howard Stern tweeted: “Waiting for the facts. If true I’m disgusted”
Stern isn’t the only one disgusted. Poe’s family told TMZ that they have been receiving death threats from fellow vets, and other furious Americans. Poe’s fiancé received a phone call that threatened, “ You made American vets look bad and now you're going to suffer,” while his sister-in-law was approached by someone in the grocery store who threatened to kill her and the whole family.
As for Poe himself, a family member says she fears he's suicidal. He hasn't left the house since the scandal broke, and he's been crying incessantly. One family member says Poe is suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome.
It looks like Poe cannot handle the stress of being put in a situation where his life is actually at risk.
Honestly, Timothy Poe is one of those people that makes me lose all hope in humanity. He is not only a disgrace to all those who have served and all those who have lost somebody who was serving their country, but also to all Americans. This guy needs to cut the crap and own up to what he did. At least then he may be able to save a little bit of his dignity. Maybe.
Timothy Poe's America's Got Talent Audition Clip: