LOS ANGELES (LALATE) – Clay Aiken didn’t have plastic surgery. But a series of false articles claiming Clay Aiken had plastic surgery, or even worse claiming his face is “odd”, are enraging Aiken fans this week. Clay Aiken made news this week, being formally confirmed as a new contestant on Celebrity Apprentice 2012. Unlike other reality shows where celebrities use the program to enrich their own wallets, Celebrity Apprentice is a series about ultimately helping charities in need. And while this week could have featured more articles about Aiken’s charitable work, some websites devoted their entire attention at criticizing Aiken’s face. As a result, Clay Aiken fans are furious.
Since at least 2006, Hollywood actors and singers have decided not to sit back and let publications either falsely state or falsely imply they had plastic surgery or other types of cosmetic surgery. In July 2006, Shannon Doherty admitted to news and fans that she was enraged at a Star publication that claimed she had recently undergone plastic surgery. At the time, Doherty was on production of her new series, “Breaking Up With Shannen Doherty.”
Shannon, appearing on The View, told fans and news that the cover was not only false but so hurtful that she had to stop production on her show. “Production got halted for about an hour and a half because I was sobbing uncontrollably. If you didn’t have it (plastic surgery) and they’re saying that you did, then it’s embarrassing, it’s humiliating. I don’t know if anybody’s noticed, but I’ve pretty much been hiding out as much as humanly possible.” Shannon also told news “I’ve been trying to stay out of the press because I just don’t want it in my life anymore. I hired a litigator and I’m willing to put as much money behind a lawsuit as humanly possible, just to sort of teach them a lesson.”
Doherty told Barbara Walters “I’m actually willing to go so far as to go sit down with whatever plastic surgeon they want to put in front of me who can inspect my face. I went to work and my lovely hairdresser David came to me and said, ‘Oh my God, did you see the cover of Star?’ and I went, ‘No, why?’ He told me and then he pulled it up online.”
On one major U.S. portal, one of the top five stories in rotation since earlier this week reads “Clay Aiken’s baffling new appearance”. Under a picture of his face, the caption reads “Clay Aiken’s odd new face”. The caption adds “In a “Celebrity Apprentice” pic, the star looks way different than in his “Idol” days.” The article then cites a NBC public relations picture of Aiken, leaning over a table. The picture is a poorly stage pic. But to call a celebrity’s face “odd” because the public relations department takes a bad picture is improper.
One popular website this week ran coverage, not of Aiken’s charitable work, but an article also about his face. Entitled “Clay Aiken – Clay Aiken’s Apprentice Shot Hints At Plastic Surgery?”, fans fumed at the article. Fans were equally angry at another article entitled “Clay Aiken – A Plastic Surgery Participant?” Not one of those articles focused on the charitable work that Aiken has done over the years.
In 2004, Sharon Stone made news for filing a lawsuit against a Beverly Hills plastic surgeon, claiming that he falsely claimed to have given her a facelift. The surgeon was allegedly quoted in celebrity news magazines claiming to have given Stone that procedure. Her suit states at the time “False statements that Sharon Stone has sought to artificially preserve her beauty by undergoing a facelift procedure are damaging to her professional reputation as a talented and beautiful actress who prides herself on her natural beauty,” the suit said. The case in Los Angeles County Superior Court was eventually settled.
Aiken debuts on Celebrity Apprentice 2012 on February 12 at 9 pm EST.
While Aiken has done charitable work at home, he has done the same internationally for years. In 2008, LALATE detailed extensively his work with UNICEF. In one project, Aiken teamed up with UNICEF and Malaria No More to defeat malaria—a completely preventable disease that still kills one child every 30 seconds worldwide. Aiken told news at the time “It doesn’t have to be this way. For a limited time, Malaria No More will match your donation in the fight against malaria, helping UNICEF save twice as many lives.”