Laine Hardy has gone from being one of the most popular “American Idol” winners in recent years to a man facing some very serious charges.
According to the Lafayette, Louisana, Daily Advertiser, Hardy turned himself in to Louisiana State University Police on Friday after acknowledging there was a warrant out for his arrest.
The 21-year-old Hardy, who won the 2019 season of the show, was booked into East Baton Rouge Parish Prison on charges he bugged his ex-girlfriend’s dorm room.
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Hardy acknowledged the warrant in a post on social media.
“Earlier today, I received a warrant due to allegations made against me and have been fully cooperative with the Louisiana State University Police Department,” he 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.
“I have the utmost respect for the law and will assist in their investigation as needed moving forward,” he added.
The charges — interception and disclosure of wire, electronic or oral communication — can carry a fine of up to $10,000 and a prison sentence between two and 10 years.
The arrest warrant indicates Hardy’s ex-girlfriend found the device in her LSU dorm room on April 7.
After doing a Google search, she discovered it was a voice-activated audio recorder.
His ex-girlfriend said Hardy admitted to her that she placed the bug in her room.
Playin' around… pic.twitter.com/qdkJwhhE7W
— Laine Hardy (@TheLaineHardy) April 28, 2022
“The LSU Police investigator downloaded recordings and wrote in the warrant that he identified Hardy, who he wrote has ‘a very distinguishable voice,’” the Advertiser reported.
That voice, TMZ reported, could be heard when the device was being planted.
Hardy is not an LSU student, although he lives in Livingston Parish and is a native of the state.
Since his success in the competition as a teenager, Hardy has been celebrated and embraced by his fellow Louisianans, including politicians.
When he made it to the final three, Gov. John Bel Edwards, a Republican, proclaimed May 14, 2019, “Laine Hardy Day,” hosting Hardy at the governor’s mansion.
He was also tapped by Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser to lead a tourism ad campaign for the state.
Now, he finds himself in a much different situation. According to KSLA-TV, he was released from prison at 5:30 p.m. on his own recognizance. His performance at the Mississippi Mudbug Festival in Jackson, Mississippi, scheduled for that night was canceled for “an unforeseen personal responsibility.”
Unfortunately for Hardy, he’s going to have a lot of “unforeseen personal responsibilities” coming up in the near future — and turning himself in to police is just the start of them.