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'American Idol' winner Laine Hardy is accused of bugging an ex-girlfriend's dorm

BATON ROUGE, La. — "American Idol" winner Laine Hardy was arrested Friday after being accused of putting a listening device in his ex-girlfriend's college dorm room, authorities said.

Hardy, 21, of Livingston, Louisiana, faces a felony charge of interception and disclosure of wire, electronic or oral communication, Louisiana State University spokesman Ernie Ballard said. Hardy surrendered to the LSU Police Department and was booked into the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison.

A spokesman for Hardy, who is not an LSU student, did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment.

Hardy's attorney, C. Frank Holthaus, said in a statement to USA Today that his client "has been and will continue to be completely cooperative with the Louisiana State University Police Department on this matter."

Holthaus did not immediately respond to a telephone message from The Associated Press seeking comment.

According to the arrest warrant, a woman and her roommate found a recording device inside their dorm room on April 6. The following day, they reported the finding to LSU police. The woman told police she found the device, which looked like a phone charger, under her futon, the warrant stated.

She told officers that she believed her ex-boyfriend, Hardy, had left the device in her room earlier because he appeared to know details about what was going on in her life even though she hadn't told him about them. Police said they later found evidence of secret recordings made over 10 days in February, the warrant said.

"The victim advised she immediately confronted him, to which he admitted to her that he left a 'bug' in her room but discarded it in his pond," a police affidavit said.

Hardy, who won Season 17 of the television talent show "American Idol" in 2019, told his nearly 750,000 followers about the investigation in a Facebook post Thursday.

"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. I have the utmost respect for the law and will assist in their investigation as needed moving forward," he wrote.

If convicted, Hardy faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

The Associated Press