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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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91.

Kelli    

Could be a mistake by the newspaper. Anyone think of that?

804 days ago
92.

Aussie    

I'm curious to know what his fiance says about it all ?

804 days ago
93.

Kelli    

If this guy is lying, he needs an Oscar. That story was so real.

804 days ago
94.

Randy    

Gloria Aldred, who will sue anyone, anytime at the drop of a hat, is on her way, stepping over other lawyers, small children, veterans in wheelchairs, panhandlers and anyone else who dares to get in between her and a potential payout.Can't you just see her now, acting all rightous, patting the Sgt's hand in mock sympathy, as long as the cameras are on.

804 days ago
95.

DaveT    

I'm glad he included the military in the lie, maybe it will help some pseudo-patriotic nuts to pull the stick out and grow a sense of humor :D

804 days ago
96.

Chuck    

If the show wants to keep its cred...he'll be taken off the show.

804 days ago
97.

Rick    

What a S***BAG...and a discrace to all the Troops that a puttiing their asses on the line!!!

804 days ago
98.

OIF1    

These Guys make me sick. I can usually spot a faker pretty quickly when I talk to one.
This guy seemed some what humble and had me fooled a bit.
KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT POSERS!!!!
Go pretend your something else.
You dishonor our KIA and legitimate WIA comrades.

804 days ago
99.

John Lindley    

Thanks for the "exclusive story" that I already read this morning on This ain't hell....way to cite your sources....there are enough people who read TAH to know that you stole this story...so good job on TMZ...way to be d!cks

804 days ago
100.

LadyN    

The crazy thing is he freaking can sing! What an a$$ to think he could get away with faking all of this when there are so many ways to check his story. I hope he's booted off the show and the military deals with him harshly. Faking a military injury and using a real solider in war's picture as his own is so classless and trashy.

804 days ago
101.

andy    

he should just quit the competition.

804 days ago
102.

demandingTRUTH    

Not only SHAME on him SHAME on his wife for going along with it.Funny how Nick notices everything!!!If you were REaLLy paying attention yesterday Timmy Boy gave his little secret away when talking to Nck at the end.Was it just me or did Tim NO stutter ONcE after singing!!!Pretty amazing or just PLAN OLD ACTING REALLY GOOD FOR THE CAMERAS.SAD SAD SAD SAD SAD THROW HIM OFF THROW HIM OFFFFFFFFF

804 days ago
103.

Steinberg    

Wow, I would just kill myself if I were him right about now. You cant show your face on tv or in town or anywhere.

He better move to China or something. He's absolutely ****ed in the US

804 days ago
104.

peter    

I THINK THAT STAGG SGT NORMAN BONE SHOULD PERSONALLY SHOW UP AT AGT AND SURPRISE TIMOTHY POE , WHILE HE IS SINGING .

804 days ago
105.

World Record    

I qiut watching that show several years ago, porrly produced,to long, to stupid, just like American Idol, way to long,BGT last for maybe 2 month and a winner is crowned

804 days ago
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