America's Got Talent contestant Timothy Michael Poe's sob story is unraveling further.
After the Minnesota National Guard could not confirm his account of suffering a brain injury while being hit by a grenade in Afghanistan in 2009, it now turns out that the photo he gave America's Got Talent of a soldier in uniform is not of him.
The picture is actually a photo of Staff Sgt. Norman Bone, who is none too happy with Poe's shenanigans, the soldier told TMZ.
First thing that came to my mind was 'Why would this lying son of a b---- do this?' Bone told TMZ, who was alerted to the photo by his ex-wife. I'm absolutely furious. Been seeing red all day.
FreemantleMedia, the production company for America's Got Talent, apologized for the photo mishap.
We sincerely apologize to U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Norman Bone for using a photo of him in our story on Tim Poe, the company said in a statement. It was supplied to us by Tim and used on the show in good faith. It has now been removed and will not be used again.
Tim Poe, 35, of San Antonio, Tex., captured the country's hearts during his performance Monday on America's Got Talent, due in large part to his incredible story, telling the judges that he didn't even know he could sing until his speech pathologist suggested he sing in the shower as therapy for the stutter he acquired after getting hit with a grenade in Afghanistan.
I didn't know I could really sing until my speech pathologist told me that to help my stutter, she said to sing in the shower, Poe told the America's Got Talent judges in the episode that aired Monday night. So that's what I did.
In a pre-taped video that aired on the show, Poe recounted his tale of being hit by the grenade, which the Minnesota National Guard could not confirm.
I saw it coming down and by the time I turned and went to jump on top of my guys, I yell, 'Grenade!,' and the blast had hit me, Poe said, noting that he thought his life was over.
When I was lying there, I thought that I was never going to be able to see my daughter walk down the aisle or throw the baseball with my son again or be able to hold them and see them. I didn't want my life to be over, 'cause there's so much to do that I would never be able to do.
A day after Poe's performance, the Minnesota National Guard said the aspiring country singer's military records do not indicate that he was injured by a grenade in combat while serving in Afghanistan in 2009, as he reports.
Katy Edwards, who says her sister has a child with Timothy Michael Poe, also said the aspiring country singer's story was made up.
He never actually fought in Afghanistan. He did break his back but it was in Georgia when he was in training to go on a deployment. On this particular deployment he landed in Afghanistan, got an ear infection and was medevac'd out to Germany, Edwards said in an e-mail to IBTimes. While in Germany he refused to go back to the war and was brought back to the United States. His unit lost a soldier that deployment and are incredibly upset by the stories he made up [Monday] night.
Edwards said she was appalled that Poe would fabricate such a story on national television.
What he did last night was a slap in the face to all our great servicemen and women, she said. The most disgusting fact of all is that Tim doesn't even have a stutter. My sister has a child with him. I have personally spoken with him several times in the last year and he is completely healthy and fine.
Poe served in the Minnesota National Guard as a supply specialist from December 2002 through May 2011, according to records obtained by the Associated Press. He served in Kosova in 2007 and 2008 and served in Afghanistan for a brief period in 2009.