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Stuttering 'AGT' Contestant

Soldier Photo's A FAKE!!!

6/7/2012 10:05 AM PDT UPDATED: 6/7/2012 12:45 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

Stuttering "America's Got Talent" contestant Timothy Poe is NOT the soldier in the photo displayed during his tearjerker audition this week -- it's someone else ... and the REAL soldier is pissed.

Staff Sgt. Norman Bone tells TMZ, he first heard about the photo from his ex-wife who was watching "AGT" -- Norman thought it was part of a tribute to the troops ... and didn't think twice about it.

Tuesday night, one of the guys Bone served with in Afghanistan sent him a message on Facebook -- telling him the "AGT" segment  was must-see TV ... so Bone finally checked it out online ... and now, he's livid. (Skip to 1:29 to see the photo)

Bone -- who currently serves in El Paso, TX -- tells us, "First thing that came to my mind was 'Why would this lying son of a bitch do this?'" ... adding, "I'm absolutely furious. Been seeing red all day."

Bone says he's never even heard of Timothy Poe -- and he's going to meet with the Army legal department to explore his options.

The photo in question was originally posted here -- on the U.S. Department of Defense website -- along with the caption, "U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Norman Bone directs movement as his patrol turns around on a narrow path in the mountains of Parwan province in Afghanistan on Oct. 25, 2006."

Timothy Poe has insisted from the beginning his story is legit. We called him about the photo. He hasn't gotten back to us.

12:40 PM PT: A rep for FreemantleMedia -- the production company behind "AGT" -- tells TMZ, "We sincerely apologize to U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Norman Bone for using a photo of him in our story on Tim Poe. It was supplied to us by Tim and used on the show in good faith. It has now been removed and will not be used again."


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What a ****ing loser. Stutter fake and serving the country fake. Punishment should be by hanging. I got my pitch fork.

865 days ago

Minnesota Soldier    

Hey TMZ, how about you giver credit to the reporter who actually broke the story?

865 days ago

Ratings Needed    

I honestly don't think he was that good of a best a poor imitation of Garth Brooks.

865 days ago

Valerie Conley    

I'm glad this is breaking, but just for the record, you need to take down the exclusive -- the picture was on MSNBC before you published it and the person who broke this story is someone I know well -- he doesn't want recognition -- just the truth to come out. So just keep telling the truth about Tim Poe and you can claim whatever you want.

865 days ago


Impersonating someone from the Military = Federal Court. Oooh his busted now.

865 days ago


The video posted on shows an interview with this mut and he DOES NOT even stutter.

865 days ago


B-b-b-bad...bad to the bone!

865 days ago


Why do I feel that if there were another poll, at least 10% would say Poe will be "vindicated," that there's "more to story," and "we don't know the whole truth"? I was astonished that so many were defending this guy even AFTER his lies were exposed yesterday afternoon. TMZ is many things but one of them is an eye-opener as to the DENIAL of some people! (I'm looking at you Octo and LiLo apologists.)

865 days ago


What a disgrace to our brave troops, if this looser isn't booted off the show for lying, Americas got Talent can say goodbye to me as a viewer!

865 days ago


I thought he was full of crap when I first saw him on AGT. One thing I do notice a lot on AGT is that if your act sucks, guilt everyone into sending you to vegas by doing something patriotic.

865 days ago


Lets be real most of the guys who come home from war are so beyond disturbed I wouldn't doubt if this guy actually believes his own story. I say that with 100% confidence! The only one that is at fault for this is the US Government for sending these guys out there to begin with and not getting them THE PROPER MENTAL HELP they need when they come home. I know so many guys "Veterans" that are total and complete brainless nut jobs when they come back. Leave fine come back screwed up! Guarantee you this guy believes his own story.

865 days ago


What an idiot! Apparently it didn't dawn on him that people would find out the truth. The military knows EVERYTHING!

865 days ago


Hey TMZ! Did you do any leg work on this story? No? Then how can you claim this is an exclusive? I learned about this days ago at Thisain'thell! Feel free to bust Poe as a phony all you like, but how about giving proper credit to your sources?

865 days ago


He never claimed it was him in the photos. Amg just posted some genetic photos to go a along with the story. They never claimed that was him. Do you're research TMZ!

865 days ago


Sgt. Bone has all right to be mad about this. How dare someone fake being a soldier. Our soldiers go through enough. If this guy wants to be a american soldier then he needs to get over there and fight. I'm so proud of our soliders and its a disgrace to me that someone would do this. Sgt. Bone you need to get to the bottom of this and your the one who needs to be recognized for your service. Good luck to you.

865 days ago
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