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'American Idol' reject Ian Benardo sues for $300 million over alleged anti-gay discrimination on set
New York City contestant Ian Benardo, 25, performs in front of the judges on 'American Idol.' He is now suing the show for $300 million after their alleged anti-gay discrimination.
This reject is hoping he can turn his "American Idol" crash into a whole lot of cash.
Ian Benardo, 30, who infamously rushed the stage during the talent search's 2010 finale now claims producers encouraged the stunt and then discriminated against him.
He's seeking $300 million in a complaint filed with the New York State Human Rights Division that alleges the "Idol" set "was permeated with discriminatory intimidation, ridicule, insults and hostile and offensive comments."
Benardo, who is openly gay, auditioned for the show in 2007 and became a sensation after he flipped out on host Simon Cowell.
Producers invited him back for last season's finale - then pelted him with anti-gay epithets and asked him inappropriate questions about his sexuality.
"I became a paid employee when they asked me back. Only after that did I start hearing, 'Why don't you act more faggy?'" Benardo told the Daily News on Tuesday.
"They encouraged me to be totally outlandish, they wanted me to dress in drag and kept using anti-gay slurs to tell me how to behave."
Benardo, 29, said producers tacitly gave him the go-ahead to grab the mike from comedian Dane Cook during the May 26 finale.
"They said that it was live TV and anything was OK as long as I didn't curse," he said. "It was a big wink-wink, so I did what I thought I was supposed to do."
Since the finale, Benardo said he has suffered panic attacks and can't live a normal life.
The good thing about Timpo living in the past is we, likely, have a conclusion to his posts:
A New York federal judge has kicked out a discrimination lawsuit against American Idol filed by a homosexual contestant who was told by the crew to “gay it up,” ruling that the man knew what he was in for... Adweek