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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
EXCLUSIVE

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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)

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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.

update_bar
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."

223 COMMENTS

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46.

Kassie    

This is a disgusting slap in the face to all of those who served and are serving, especially those injured or killed. He should be ashamed of himself.

781 days ago
47.

Kirk    

How does TMZ keep getting "Exclusive" coverage that another person has already published and notified TMZ of? Interesting how that works.

781 days ago
48.

Forbidden    

You cannot even tell IF IT IS really him to begin with. You are flipping for what? Nothing important. Didn't you guys read the real dude is pissed? Don't you guys know that the Army boys handle **** themselves? LOL... like this is a shocker - people lie, it's what they do - and let karma get him in the ass for it. He's gonna get publicly humiliated so, why does anyone else need to comment? Just sit back and watch.

781 days ago
49.

Forbidden    

You cannot even tell IF IT IS really him to begin with. You are flipping for what? Nothing important. Didn't you guys read the real dude is pissed? Don't you guys know that the Army boys handle **** themselves? LOL... like this is a shocker - people lie, it's what they do - and let karma get him in the ass for it. He's gonna get publicly humiliated so, why does anyone else need to comment? Just sit back and watch.

781 days ago
50.

tmzgirl    

HE SHOULD GO TO JAIL FOR THIS. WHAT A JERK!!!!!!!!!!!

781 days ago
51.

Evalea    

What makes this POS think he would get away with this? How does he think he's even half of these men/women? He spreads this BS lie for what? A damned stupid talent show!!! His punishment should suit his lies. Put him through the toughest basic training on the face of the Earth." Ssssir yyes ssir!" (sorry I couldn't help myself)
My dad was a WW2 vet. His uncle was one of the few survivors of the Bataan death march. These men were true heroes. My husband was drafted and staged for deployment to Vietnam but never saw action.

781 days ago
52.

Big D    

I can't think of anything worse than a lying POS fake ass solider. When people do this they disgrace everything single member of the US Armed Forces. This dick has no morals, backbone, or pride. I'd would like to run in to you one day Ms Poe, maybe I can fix that stutter, or is that fake to. I salute Army Staff Sgt. Norman Bone, thank you for serving this great country.

781 days ago
53.

Cody    

AGT knows they ****ed up, but I don't blame them for putting him on TV without looking him up. You get this kind of story and realize it makes for good TV so you put him through. This man is an embarrassment to all Americans

781 days ago
54.

BearAttack9rsavoy    

if anybody knows where Melissa lives PLEASE CONTACT ME:

781 days ago
55.

erik    

was he even in the military??????

781 days ago
56.

Kriste    

TMZ, it is rather dishonest --and disgraceful- that you continue to claim you have the "Exclusive!" on anything to do with this story. You've stolen your information from service members who have worked diligently to research Tim Poe's claims and expose his lies. Other professional media outlets such as MSNBC and RT News have stepped up, why haven't you? Is it because you consider yourself a source of gossip, as opposed to news?

Here are the folks that deserve credit for the "exclusive".

Mark "TSO" Seavey broke this story on the military blog, "This aint Hell: http://thisainthell.us/blog/?paged=3

And CJ Grisham of the You Served military blog and podcast got an exclusive radio interview with Poe before he clammed up: http://www.vamortgagecenter.com/blog/2012/06/06/the-sgt-tim-poe-controversy/?utm_source=fb&utm_medium=status&utm_content=timpoe&utm_campaign=cj

All you are doing is adding further insult to our soldiers by stealing their work and calling it your own, instead of giving them credit for it.

At the very least, an editorial correction is in order --along with an apology to Mr. Seavey and Mr. Grisham

781 days ago
57.

LBerger    

Fry

781 days ago
58.

LBerger    

Fry this loser's butt. Case closed .. enough said. And his girlfriend? WOW!!!! they both SHOULD try out for t.v. soap operas .. their acting had me fooled.

781 days ago
59.

I Was About To Say    

This liar who has NO respect for the REAL troops needs to quit AGT now or he should get boo'd and buzzed the second he steps back on the stage.

781 days ago
60.

I Was About To Say    

They shouldn't even let him go to Vegas now.

781 days ago
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