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‘Idol's’ Clay Aiken sued by author

The author of an ‘unauthorized tribute’ claims the show's second-season runner-up tried to defame her.
/ Source: The Associated Press

The author of an “unauthorized tribute” to Clay Aiken is suing the “American Idol” singer, claiming he defamed her and conspired to stifle sales of her book.

Jeannie Holleman, 50, says she is a lifelong friend and neighbor of a Raleigh family that took in Aiken’s mother, Faye Parker, and her young son when Parker left her abusive husband.

In the lawsuit, filed Friday in Wake County Superior Court, Holleman claims Aiken, his mother and others conspired to defame her and depress sales of her book by denying they knew her, branding her stories as lies and demeaning the book on Aiken fans’ Web sites.

Aiken, in a statement issued by RCA Records, said Monday that he had “instructed my attorneys to not only vigorously dispute the claims that have been made but to also pursue all possible remedies against those involved in the perpetration of these untruths.”

Holleman’s 2005 book, “Out of the Blue — ’Clay’ it Forward,” incorporates interviews from the McGhee family and her own recollections with stories from Aiken’s fans.

The lawsuit also claims a bodyguard for Aiken manhandled Holleman at a fundraiser in Hawaii.

A telephone message left Sunday at Parker’s home was not returned.

The lawsuit seeks at least $260,000 in damages and asks the court to order Aiken to retract the critical comments or endorse the book on his official Web site, to write a positive introduction for the book and to sell the book at his concerts for at least five years.

In his statement, Aiken, 27, also said:

“As a so-called ‘celebrity’ I have become used to scurrilous allegations and untruths being made about me and my work. I have always taken the path of not reacting to these matters and have accepted them as, somehow, coming with the ‘job.’ However, I cannot, and will not, stand by when these attacks are made on my family.”