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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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Previous 15 Comments | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9


I know for a fact also that is Norman in that pic because he is my cousin. I also think they should kick him off the show and throw him in jail for trying to impersonate a military soldier

867 days ago


FYI: Fox 9 news in MN has been covering this for a couple of days. Apparently this guy was in the MN National Guard and did serve in Afghanistan for a little while; however, he was not wounded in combat. He's definitely lying about something.

867 days ago



Doug Sterner Says:
June 8th, 2012 at 2:33 pm
The question that keeps arising is the “WHY (do people do this?). Aside from a potential $1 million prize in the ATG case, the fact is, most of these SV Cases are committed by people with an otherwise criminal bent. Barbara Bently has written an excellent book about her marriage to one such phony (Navy Admiral who claimed a MOH) titled “A Dance With the Devil.” Ultimatly, her husbant attempted to murder her. She explains the “WHY” very well: “Psychopaths/sociopaths love to assume roles where honest citizens automatically give trust without question. John (her former husband) did this with portraying himself as a retired admiral and wearing the Congressional Medal of Honor. He even fooled the navy!”

These are USUALLY not cases of poor souls with low self-esteem and some mental problems (excuses that often result in our feeling some level of sympathy for the Phony Heroes), they are pathological liars and manipulators who do this for personal gain, power, prestige, and are often accompanied by other serious additional crimes.

866 days ago

Jerry Helper,DDS    

There are many cool celebrities who stutter. Check out the list of Falous People Who Stutter on the website of the Stuttering Foundation ( people like Bruce Willis, Emily Blunt, James Earl Jones, Tom Sizemore, Peggy Lipton,Carly Simon, Bo Jackson, Eric Roberts, Samuel L. Jackson, Nicole Kidman and more.

The site also has in-depth articles on some of these people in the "Celebrity Cormer" section such as Dominick Dunne, Bill Withers, B.B. King, Rowan Atkinson (Mr. Bean), Lewis Carroll, Emily Blunt and others.

The people on this list are totally cool. Check it out!

866 days ago

tamber bartlett    

norman is my brother what a dumb ass to use his photo on national tv look who got the last laugh

865 days ago


I wonder how many of the contestants on these talent show that come onto the stage and tell their sob story are really telling the complete truth? I suspect there is more embellishing of stories than there are of 100% true stories. Perhaps these talent shows should try letting the contestant come on stage and just perform their talent and nothing else. Lets let the talent speak for itself and leave out all of the hard luck and sympathy stories. Could he sing? Yes he could. Should he have embellished his story? No he should not have and neither should anyone else, It should be about the their talent. Yes, I suspect he may have noticed all the special attention others get when they have a shtick and decided to embellish on his military history, what a shame that anyone should fell the need to do what he did when his talent was enough to stand on its own.

I wonder what Jesus would say? Perhaps it would be something like "Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone" and/or "Go, and sin no more."

865 days ago

rachel peterson    

The pic IS norman bone.... that pic is definately norman...

864 days ago


People like this don't deserve any kind of stardom for faking what our soldiers ACTUALLY do. God bless Sgt. Norman Bone for his service.

864 days ago

LOOK at the photos
READ the bio
WATCH the videos
This guy is the real deal, and ROCKS!

861 days ago

LOOK at the photos
READ the bio
WATCH the videos
This guy is the real deal, and ROCKS!

861 days ago


maybe that cant get a real photo of himself, so they take random photos of soldier(s). people do it all the time!

855 days ago


This is truly sad, Mr.Poe! You have talent as a singer and could have mad it through you didn't have to do something so dishonorable. There are many people who would have voted for you just based on your talent not your fake sob story. Even if you didn't win you would have many opportunities to network and make it in country music. If you had any sense you should know the truth always comes out when your under the spot light and in the media!

853 days ago

Kevin James    

He isn't the only person using America's patriotism to scam people, check out this piece of crap:

846 days ago
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