American Idol season 17 winner Laine Hardy was arrested in Louisiana for allegedly spying on his ex-girlfriend. Laine, who is now 21 years old, first auditioned for American Idol season 16 in 2018 and made it into the Top 50 before being eliminated. He returned the following year for American Idol season 17 to accompany his friend Ashton Gill on the guitar during her audition. Although the Livingston, Louisiana, native had no intention of auditioning for the show again, American Idol judges Katy Perry, Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan convinced him, and he made it through to Hollywood for a second time.
Laine ended up winning American Idol season 17 at 18 years old. His coronation song, “Flame,” was released on May 19, 2019. Two years later, his single “Memorize You” was released, and it became very popular when he sang it in an episode of The Bachelorette season 17, during a date between Katie Thurston and Blake Moynes. One of Laine’s greatest career milestones was his Grand Ole Opry debut on August 28, 2021. He followed that with the release of his first album, Here’s To Anyone, which debuted on September 17 of that same year.
However, things have gotten rough for Laine in the past of couple of days, as he was just arrested for allegedly spying on his ex-girlfriend. In a statement posted on Instagram, Laine revealed that he received a warrant due to allegations made against him and that he had been fully cooperative with the Louisiana State University (LSU) Police Department. Laine wrote, “I understand that my career has thrust me into the public spotlight, and I embrace that wholeheartedly as my entire world belongs to my music and my fans. However, due to the sensitive nature of this allegation, I humbly ask for privacy at this time.” Although he did not provide further details, the NY Post reported that LSU spokesperson Ernie Ballard confirmed Laine’s arrest in a statement.
The spokesperson said that Laine, who is not an LSU student, “was arrested by LSU Police today and booked into East Baton Rouge Parish Prison for violation of 15:1303 — Interception and Disclosure of Wire, Electronic, or Oral Communication. His arrest warrant has been filed with clerk of court.” Laine was jailed after being arrested for allegedly “planting a listening device” in his ex-girlfriend’s campus accommodation in order to “monitor her conversations” when they broke up. They dated from November 2021 to February 2022. According to the prison booking documents, the victim explained that she and her roommate found a device that appeared to be a phone charger under a futon, but it ended up being a voice activated recorder. The document also stated that Laine had information about the victim and her actions during Christmas break that should not have been known to him. When she confronted him about it, he admitted that he had left a “bug” in her room and had later “discarded it in his pond.” Laine ended up surrendering to authorities Friday morning.
Laine’s arrest is a shocking development for fans of American Idol. He is slated to appear in American Idol‘s “The Great Idol Reunion” episode that is airing on Monday, May 2. He will be singing a duet with his fellow American Idol season 17 top five finalist Laci Kaye Booth. The special episode has apparently already been filmed, but it is unclear if American Idol still plans on including his performance or if they will cut it. Fans will have to wait and see what happens next with this disappointing turn of events.
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American Idol airs Sundays & Mondays at 8 p.m. EST on ABC.
Sources: Laine Hardy/Instagram, NY Post