American Idol winner Laine Hardy arrested for allegedly spying on ex-girlfriend

Laine Hardy, the winner of American Idol season 17, turned himself in to Louisiana State University police on Friday after an arrest warrant was issued Thursday for allegedly placing a listening device in an ex-girlfriend’s dorm room. 

Hardy posted about the arrest on social media, saying he was cooperating fully with the police and asking for privacy.

“My entire world belongs to my music and fans,” he tweeted. “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 moving forward.”

The relationship

Police are withholding the name of the ex-girlfriend, a college student at LSU. She and her roommate reported finding a listening device in their dorm room, and Hardy’s ex-girlfriend allegedly told police that Hardy knew about her comings and goings even though she had not told him.

According to the New York Post, the woman told police she and Hardy dated from November 2021 through February 2022. When she confronted Hardy about knowing her whereabouts over the holidays, he told her he had placed a bug in her room but “later discarded it in his pond,” booking documents stated.

Hardy has been linked publicly to two women prior to 2022: Gracie Lee, 19, whom Hardy seems to have dated on and off for two years, and beauty queen Sydney Taylor, an LSU student but not believed to be the one who found the listening device.

Hardy, 21, could face up to a $10,000 fine and two to 10 years in prison if convicted of the charges. He was released on his own recognizance Friday night.

Idol winner in trouble

Hardy won American Idol in 2019 and has since gained a strong following online.

He hadn’t even planned to audition that season after being eliminated from the top 50 in 2018, but judges convinced him to sing after he showed up to accompany his friend on guitar for her audition.

Hardy was a fan favorite, performing several throwback songs, including some from Elvis Presley.

He signed a deal with Hollywood Records and released a debut album, Here’s to Anyone, in August 2021.

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