EXCLUSIVEFormer "American Idol" contestant Jermaine Jones has a message for the "Idol" castoffs threatening to sue the show for racism -- keep his name THE HELL OUT OF IT!!
Jermaine -- who was disqualified from "A.I." back in March 2012 for outstanding arrest warrants -- tells TMZ ... he is "offended" his name was cited in the current legal battle brewing between the reality show and several former contestants.
TMZ broke the story ... nine African-American ex-contestants are threatening to sue the show, claiming "A.I." honchos are targeting black contestants for disqualification ... by using illegal background checks.
In legal docs ... the lawyer for the "Idol 9" cited Jermaine's premature elimination -- which only happened after a background check revealed his prior arrests -- as a catalyst for the planned lawsuit.
But Jermaine tells us ... "I am offended they tried to paint me as a victim of discrimination."
He continues, "I appreciate the experience from 'Idol' and embraced the good and bad from it."
Jermaine believes the "Idol 9" are using him for publicity -- but he adds, "I have moved on with my life ... and have not authorized them to include me in the accusations."