As the top 12 men of “American Idol” get ready to take the stage Wednesday (February 24) for the second night of the season nine semifinals, the controversy surrounding one singer who was briefly a part of that coveted group continues. Following Chris Golightly’s ouster from the competition last week, his former manager has spoken out about his disqualification.
“Idol” producers booted Golightly because of a previous contract he’d signed, rendering him ineligible to continue in the competition. Golightly has forcefully denied the contract was still in place when he tried out for the reality show, and now his former manager, Lawrence Franklin of Dream Projects Entertainment, has released a statement and given an interview to The Los Angeles Times in which he disputes Golightly’s account and says the singer re-upped his contract with boy band Dream 5 in the spring of 2009, only months before his “Idol” tryout.
“[On] May 30, 2009, I created his second contract,” Franklin’s statement read. “A two-year agreement with Dream Projects Entertainment. However, his words and promises were just empty rhetoric.”
It was on that day, Franklin says, that Golightly recorded Dream 5′s first single, “One Love,” at a studio in Los Angeles. Nonetheless, Franklin says he did speak with “Idol” producer 19 Entertainment about releasing Golightly from his contract.
“After we spoke with 19 Entertainment, they told [Golightly] that our release would be no good for them and that I personally would have to sign one of theirs to release him,” he told the Times. “We waited on those documents and that’s when time ran out for him, because they were never sent over. From the beginning, we wanted him released legally because two contracts couldn’t exist [simultaneously].”
Golightly has repeatedly disputed that he was under contract before trying out for “Idol.” He held a press conference Tuesday outside a Hollywood club where he displayed what he said was proof that his contractual obligation had ended prior to “Idol.”
During his Times interview, Franklin accused Golightly of getting into a physical altercation with one of his bandmates. “One of the group members was upset that Chris was missing rehearsals because it was slowing things down — he had missed a major show we were planning with Ray J — and when the group member questioned Chris about it, Chris pushed him up against the wall and was put on blast for that,” Franklin said.
Get your “Idol” fix on MTV News’ “American Idol” page , where you’ll find all the latest news, interviews and opinions.