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After Active Investigation, American Idol Winner Laine Hardy Has Been Arrested

Laine Hardy, the winner of American Idol Season 17, was arrested on April 29 after being accused of putting a listening device in his ex-girlfriend’s dorm room. Louisiana State University police reportedly opened an investigation April 7 after a student at the university discovered the device and told police she believed her ex-boyfriend Hardy had put it there. A warrant for his arrest was issued April 28.

The winner of the 2019 ABC singing competition was booked into East Baton Rouge Parish Prison and charged with interception and disclosure of wire, electronic, or oral communication, USA TODAY reports. If found guilty, Laine Hardy could face a fine of up to $10,000 and/or a prison sentence of two to ten years. Ahead of his arrest, the 21-year-old singer addressed the situation in an April 28 update to his fans on Instagram:

Earlier today, I received a warrant due to allegations made against me and have been fully cooperative with the Louisiana State University Police Department. 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.

Laine Hardy said he was cooperating with police at LSU, where his ex-girlfriend is a student. Hardy does not attend the university. The ex-girlfriend reportedly found the device in her room and discovered through a Google search that it was a voice-activated audio recorder. TMZ reports that police said they heard what sounded like Hardy’s voice on the recording when he allegedly planted the device, as well as recordings captured that included conversations the student had with her mother about her breakup with the American Idol winner.

Laine Hardy on American Idol.

(Image credit: ABC)

In 2019, Laine Hardy charmed his way to an upset victory on American Idol, beating out frontrunner Alejandro Aranda and Madison VanDenburg in the Final 3. Hardy had previously competed on Season 16 of the singing competition as well, but he was eliminated in the Hollywood round. He accompanied a friend to the Season 17 auditions, where the judges convinced him to give it another shot. They noted a marked improvement that continued over the course of the season. 

In the Top 5, he nailed the classic songs “Hey Jude” and “Something About the Way You Look Tonight,” but it was the finale that really drove it home, as Laine Hardy covered hits that showed off his Southern roots in (appropriately) “Home” by Marc Broussard and “Jambalaya (On the Bayou)” by Hank Williams.

American Idol has not commented on the arrest, as the show continues its 20th season on ABC. Catch new episodes at 8 p.m. ET Sundays and Mondays as the end of the 2021-2022 TV season approaches, and be sure to check out our 2022 TV schedule to see what shows are premiering soon. 

Heidi Venable
Heidi Venable

Mom of two and hard-core '90s kid. Unprovoked, will quote Friends in any situation. Can usually be found rewatching The West Wing instead of doing anything productive.