American Idol winner Laine Hardy accused of putting listening device in ex-girlfriend’s dorm room at LSU
BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - American Idol winner and Louisiana native Laine Hardy was booked into the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison on Friday, April 29, on a felony charge of intercepting communications.
Hardy, of French Settlement, La., turned himself in to the LSU Police Department on Friday morning after a warrant for his arrest was issued Thursday.
Hardy won season 17 of the popular show American Idol.
“Hardy was arrested by LSU Police today and booked into East Baton Rouge Parish Prison for violation of 15:1303-- Interception and Disclosure of Wire, Electronic, or Oral Communication,” said LSU spokesman Ernie Ballard.
Hardy was released on his own recognizance, meaning he did not have to post bail. He left the jail just after 5:30 p.m. Friday.
That particular crime carries a maximum penalty of a $10,000 fine and up to ten years in prison.
According to the arrest warrant, a female and her roommate found a recording device inside their dorm room at Azalea Hall on the LSU campus on April 6, 2022. The following day, they reported the finding to LSU police. The female told police she found the recording device, which resembled a phone charger, under her futon, the warrant stated. The female said she had been in a prior relationship with Hardy. Police said they later found evidence of secret recordings made over ten different days in February of this year, the warrant added.
Hardy arrived at LSUPD Friday morning and was then transported to the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison for booking.
Hardy was set to perform Friday night at the Mississippi Mudbug Festival in Jackson, Miss. Organizers of that event said the appearance was canceled due to “an unforeseen personal responsibility” by Hardy.
Hardy made the following post to Facebook Thursday night, informing his nearly 750,000 followers of his pending arrest:
“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. I have the utmost respect for the law and will assist in their investigation as needed moving forward.”
The Louisiana Office of Tourism (LOT) featured Hardy on the cover of its 2022 Louisiana Inspiration Guide named “Louisiana Feed Your Soul.” That guide, aimed at tourists, features Louisiana restaurants and attractions.
“Laine Hardy has been an outstanding ambassador for Louisiana and partnering with him has been a truly wonderful experience,” said Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser in releasing the guide earlier this year. “His love of Louisiana is evident in his music and in the passion he shows when speaking about our great state.”
The singer is also featured in television ads that promote Louisiana, through the Lt. Governor’s Office. Those series of ads are named “Louisiana Is A Trip.”
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