After years of speculation and rumors about his sexuality, Clay Aiken has apparently confirmed that he's gay in the forthcoming issue of People magazine.
In an unusual string of events, the apparent cover of the magazine was posted on
PerezHilton.com on Tuesday afternoon (September 23). The cover bears a photo of Aiken with his new son, Parker Foster, and a headline proclaiming, "Yes, I'm Gay," with a subheadline that continues: "The Idol star opens up about his emotional decision to come out: 'I cannot raise a child to lie or to hide things.' "
Asked by MTV News for confirmation, a representative for People neither confirmed nor denied the cover's accuracy, saying only: "We can confirm that Clay Aiken and his son are featured on the next issue of People. For the complete story, please visit www.people.com at 7 a.m. [Wednesday]."
The news comes just weeks after the birth of Parker Foster Aiken, whom the singer has said he intends to raise with the child's mother, his friend and musical producer Jaymes Foster. Aiken and Foster met while he was a contestant on "American Idol"; the child was conceived via artificial insemination.
In the past, Aiken has been apprehensive and even defensive on the topic of his sexuality. In an interview with Diane Sawyer in 2006, he famously called her "really rude" for asking. "I don't understand why it's any of your business."
When MTV News caught up with Aiken after the Sawyer interview in 2006, he talked about why he feels so strongly about keeping his life private. (Watch the uncut 2006 interview here, in which Aiken addresses rumors about his sexuality.) "[Knowing] who I'm dating and what kind of cereal I eat ain't gonna benefit anybody else," he said. "That kind of thing is not important. I think there's a distinction.
"I told you what mine is, and I think for each person, you do what's right for you," he continued. "For me, part of the reason that I have anxiety is the fact that I feel like people are always staring at me. So it's important for me to make sure that I have my friends and vacation, and what I do at home with my family and that type of thing [stays private]."