''Idol'''s Bo once busted for pot, cocaine -- His slate was wiped clean after he successfully completed a drug diversion program

By Gary Susman
April 28, 2005 at 04:00 AM EDT
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Move over, Scott Savol. There’s another American Idol finalist with a rap sheet. It’s rocker Bo Bice, who has busts for cocaine and marijuana possession in his past, according to court papers unearthed by The Smoking Gun.

According to the documents, the Alabama native was arrested on a felony cocaine possession charge in June 2001 at a strip club in Madison County, Ala., and released from the county jail on $1,000 bond. At a preliminary hearing, when a Huntsville, Ala., police investigator failed to appear, a judge initially dismissed the case. Two years later, Bice was arrested near Birmingham and charged with pot possession, public intoxication, and possession of drug paraphernalia. Local prosecutors, however, prepared to refile the felony cocaine charge, so Bice, who could have faced up to 10 years in prison, copped a plea. A spokesperson for the county’s district attorney’s office told The Smoking Gun that Bice agreed to enter a drug diversion program in 2003, following his pot arrest. In late 2004, he pleaded guilty to the misdemeanor intoxication and paraphernalia charges in the pot case (the marijuana possession charge was dismissed), and the drug diversion program he’d already completed was allowed to cover those charges. Having successfully completed the program, Bice had his record wiped clean in 2004.

Bice’s past is unlikely to affect his status as one of the five remaining Idol finalists, as Fox says he let producers know about his history early on. In a statement released Wednesday, the network said, ”The information disclosed on various salacious gossip websites regarding Bo Bice’s past was already well-known to Fox and the producers of American Idol. From the beginning, Bo was honest and forthcoming in revealing his previous indiscretions and their outcome.” After all, as they say in Washington, D.C., the cover-up is always worse than the crime.

In the past, producers have allowed those contestants who told them in advance of the skeletons in their closet (like Savol, who was convicted of a misdemeanor charge of disorderly conduct after a 2001 altercation with the mother of his child) to stay on the show, while those who kept mum (Corey Clark, Frenchie Davis) have been booted. In any case, Bice certainly didn’t offer fans any hints of past transgressions. On his Idol bio page, the 29-year-old listed as his most embarrassing moment the time he ”fell off stage during a show.”

Ryan Seacrest hosts as Katy Perry, Lionel Richie, and Luke Bryan guide aspiring singers on their way to superstardom.
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