‘American Idol’ winner Laine Hardy arrested, accused of ‘bugging’ girlfriend’s dorm

BATON ROUGE, La. (WVLA) — “American Idol” winner Laine Hardy has been arrested amid allegations that he planted a “bug” in an ex-girlfriend’s dorm room at Louisiana State University.

Hardy was jailed Friday and charged with intercepting and disclosing electronic, electronic or oral communications, according to the East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office.

According to an affidavit provided by the sheriff’s office, the alleged victim and her roommate were watching a movie in their dorm on April 6 when they found “a device resembling a phone charger” under the victim’s bed. She told officials she researched the device and determined it was used for audio recording, according to the affidavit.

She also suspected Hardy, her ex-boyfriend, of planting the device in her bedroom, telling police she had already “found a fake Instagram account on the defendant’s phone” in February, and said claimed that he “used to cover up that he was recording illegally”. her when he was not there,” according to the affidavit.

Hardy also allegedly knew about the victim’s activities during the Christmas holidays, which the victim did not disclose to the “American Idol” winner.

At the time, the victim says he confronted Hardy, who confessed to placing a “bug” in his room before removing it. The alleged victim also provided a screenshot of a Snapchat message where Hardy again confessed to leaving the “bug” in his room.

The victim and Hardy had started dating in November 2021, but broke up after the incident in February, she told police.

The device found on April 6 was turned over to Louisiana State University police, who proceeded to collect evidence. Some of the recordings captured “very candid conversations” between the victim and his roommates, according to an investigator who reviewed the audio. There were also indications that the suspect had retrieved the recorder from the victim’s dormitory and returned it on another occasion, the affidavit states.

During one of the last recordings, the investigator heard the victim “tell someone how she understood that the defendant was recording her and that she did not know if the ‘bug is still in her room’ “.

Prior to his arrest on Friday, Hardy released a statement on social networks in which he admitted to knowing of “sensitive” allegations against him, saying he would cooperate with the police.

“I understand that my career has propelled me into the public spotlight, and I wholeheartedly embrace that because my whole world belongs to my music and my fans,” he wrote in part. “However, due to the sensitive nature of this allegation, I humbly request confidentiality at this time. I have the utmost respect for the law and will assist in their investigation if necessary moving forward.

Laine Hardy’s attorney, C. Frank Holthaus, released a statement after Hardy’s arrest on Friday, reiterating that Hardy is cooperating.

“I can confirm that Mr. Hardy received an arrest warrant earlier today and has been and will continue to be fully cooperative with the Baton Rouge Police Department in this regard,” Holthaus said. “Due to the public nature of Mr. Hardy’s profession, we request confidentiality at this time.”

If convicted of interception and disclosure of wired, electronic or oral communications, Hardy could face two to 10 years behind bars and a fine of up to $10,000.

Hardy, 21, appeared on the 17th season of “American Idol” in 2019 and won the competition. He was also a contestant in the show’s previous season, but did not make it to the finale.

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