Clay Aiken: People ‘who take inappropriate pictures deserve what they get’

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American Idol runner up Clay Aiken, 35, is the Democratic candidate for Congress in North Carolina’s 2nd congressional district. (Clay earned the Democratic nomination somewhat by default when his top opponent died suddenly prior to the election being called. Clay was about a percentage point ahead, though.) He’s running against Republican incumbent Renee Ellmers, a woman. The election is November 4.

As part of Clay’s campaign, he did an extended interview with The Washington Post. The Post points out that Clay should presumably have a political advantage considering how famous he is, but that this isn’t the case. Clay has only raised about $200k to his opponent’s $400k, and he’s scrambling. The quote in the title is from a companion blog article in The Post and unfortunately wasn’t included in his longer profile. I do think that the journalist left it out in order to write a more favorable article about Clay. I include segments from both articles below:

Rosie O’Donnell convinced him to get into politics
“She told me we are all just waiting for obscurity, so I should do it while I can. I should do it when I can make a difference. I have this microphone, I should use it.”

He values his privacy and isn’t using his kid for votes
This means that despite being in the public eye there are certain things he is very private about. If he were in a relationship, for example, he would not talk about it. (“It’s been a long time since I’ve been in one though,” he says. “I tell people I’m ‘in dry dock.’ ”) He also does not talk about his son, Parker. Aiken became a father in 2008 after he and his best friend, Jaymes Foster, conceived via in vitro fertilization. Parker lives with his mother in Los Angeles but recently spent the summer with Aiken.

“I chose a life in the public; he did not,” the candidate says.

On if he’ll return to singing
“There is no going back to singing as a profession really,” Aiken says after his visit to the farm. “Most people think that politics is a crap hole. . . . Once you walk into the pig barn that is politics, it’s hard to get the smell out of your clothes.”

On the massive leak of nude celebrity photos
“Anybody who takes inappropriate pictures of themselves deserves exactly what they get…

“Of course whoever [stole and released the photos] should be hogtied,” he added. “And it’s unfortunate that we don’t have Internet security right now or the laws in place to protect people from pirating that stuff.”

[From two stories on The Washington Post]

The Post profile includes details from a charity event where a Claymate grabs Clay and pesters him to sing. He tells her that she’s scaring him. Another woman, a preacher’s wife, declines to vote for him because “she votes on morality,” implying that she sees it as a moral issue that he’s gay. That woman has probably never voted for a Democrat in her life.

As for Clay’s insistence that “anybody who takes inappropriate pictures of themselves deserves exactly what they get,” it sounds like he’s blaming the victims, right? This article was sent to us by reader Jenny, who points out that Clay had his own scandal back in 2006 (before he publicly came out) when he was outed by gossip outlets for picking up guys online. Does he think he deserved to have his webcam photos and chat sessions published because they were also online?

Clay is now a “moderate” Democrat, he considers himself a born-again Christian, and he’s probably trying to appeal to his base by talking out of both sides of his mouth. It comes across as obnoxious. I’d still vote for him based on his opponent’s anti-environmental voting record. I wouldn’t be jazzed about him representing me, though.

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131 Responses to “Clay Aiken: People ‘who take inappropriate pictures deserve what they get’”

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  1. Mitch Buchanan Rocks! says:

    He looks like a mix of Jodie Foster and Ronan Farrow with just a shade of Dexter.

  2. AuroraO says:


  3. frisbeejada says:

    Of course he’s right, woman have no right whatsoever to take naked pictures of themselves for their own amusement like they actually own their own bodies or something that’s an outrageous thought and I am ashamed I had it…

    • Maria says:

      Taking photos is fine but keeping them on your phone/cloud is really a ticking time bomb in this day and age. There is no 100% security on the internet anymore and unless that phone is glued to your hand, its always a liability.

      This coming from someone who sent topless lingerie photos to her husband when he was in Iraq in 2005. My husband was technologically stupid and downloaded the photo onto the share folder so all of his fellow marines saw my tatas for a few months until someone let my husband know of the secret. I even became a joke, “I swear by Sgt. B****’s wife’s t*ts that I am telling the truth” and such.

      Ten years later, its still a joke in his old company’s group on facebook and luckily I’m over it but you will never find me taking pics like that again because who knows where that photo has floated off to in the world wide web.

      • frisbeejada says:

        I’m sorry you had such a lousy time BUT you still had the right to take those photo’s and send them to whomsoever you chose – including your husband. It wasn’t your fault he downloaded them where everyone else could see them, he didn’t do it deliberately so it wasn’t his fault either. I didn’t like this jokers comments because, like Kaiser it sounds to me like he is victim blaming and that in itself will not make the web safer or more secure. It will however make people who, through no fault of their own, feel embarrassed and ashamed when their privacy is compromised – they do not “deserve[s] exactly what they get” you certainly didn’t. This kind of moronic comment just offloads the responsibility for the hacking onto those who are hacked instead of those truly culpable.

      • Anony says:

        @Maria, “but keeping them on your phone/cloud is really a ticking time bomb in this day” the women who’s photos were stolen WERE NOT “keeping them on their phone” they had deleted them. The hackers were able to obtain DELETED photos. Personally, if I was to ever take nudes (I haven’t) I would have (before this incident) used my phone because I don’t even have a separate camera anymore.

      • wolfpup says:

        Snowdon, who took the secrets of our intelligence gathering to Russia is a traitor, in my opinion. Now Russia is hacking into our institutions and businesses, and we are in a sort of cold war(?) with them.. He may have had good intentions, but to go to Russia and handing it over to them was so short sighted. His wish for transparency could have been handled in a progressive way, without giving away intelligence secrets meant to protect the world from terrorism.

        Geez, I love the computer spell corrector!

    • Tincy says:

      Any woman who gets nude photos of herself taken, and gives them to someone else, KNOWS that they can be leaked to the public or placed on the internet.

      Same thing with celebrities who leak sex tapes of themselves.

      No one is interfering with their right to be sexually liberated, but they have to accept any unforeseen consequences of their actions.

      • Pandy says:

        I agree. I don’t think he was victim shaming. As he said, the people who hack should be hogtied, but he’s right. If you take the pics and save them, expect that they might be exploited. It’s like not closing your drapes and walking around naked. It’s your house and you have the right of course – but someone might be hiding in the bushes outside.

      • FLORC says:

        Thank You!
        They don’t deserve to have thir private photos leaked. It wasn’t the intent when the pics were snapped.
        On the other side they should be aware that nothing is safe in technology. Once it’s out there it’s out there for good.

        Having those pics means you’ve opened yourself up for an attack. The vulnerability has been created. And there are just too many stories every other year of celebs hacked photos. They knew better and did it anyways.

      • Lucinda says:

        The problem is the word “deserves.” They don’t deserve to have their photos STOLEN and then put out for public consumption. In the example someone gave above, the crime was not taking the photos or the husband accidentally putting them in a public folder. The crime was his fellow soldiers keeping it a secret from him and using them for their own pleasure. If I stumble on $100 dollars that I saw fall from someone’s wallet, are they to blame for carrying cash or am I to blame for not returning it. If this had been a case of someone taking a photo and sending it to the wrong people, then yes, they screwed up. But this was an instance of hacking and theft and Apple not doing a good job of protecting and disclosing what their software does (or doesn’t) do. We all make foolish decisions every single day. Celebrities are no different. Instead of wasting time blaming them, how about we focus our rage on the real culprits?

      • boppity says:

        Any woman who owns a home, and leaves it to go to work, KNOWS that it can be broken into and all her stuff stolen.

        Of course Clay is victim shaming. Having your personal (and deleted) property stolen isn’t a consequence of anything other than being victimized by a thief and an unsecured application (iCloud).

      • fairyvexed says:

        Absolutely not. Why are we blaming the victims instead if the thieves? It’s a crime and they should go to jail.

      • FLORC says:

        Ofcourse the the ones who hacked the files are at fault. No one more than them. They stole personal files. It happens all the time. And the more people who know your name, the more likely you are to get hacked. It’s not like this doesn’t happen all the time.

        It can’t be ignored though that by taking the photos they created a vulnerability. Technology is not safe and secure. This should never be assumed. And since it isn’t safe you shouldn’t have things you wouldn’t want out for all to see on it.

        Don’t want naked pics leaked? Don’t have naked pics to begin with. Polaroids if need be.

  4. Esmom says:

    Wow, talk about an identity crisis, politically speaking.

    I don’t know what to make of him, but that could also be because I am highly distracted by the fact he wears way more mascara than I do.

  5. Bridget says:

    Not a fan here. And it feels like he’s only in politics because the showbiz stuff didn’t really work out.

  6. Hillshmill says:

    So I actually live in NC in the district where Aiken is campaigning. I’m also about 90% democrat based on the current state of politics. NC needs politicians that people are actually going to take seriously. No one here is taking Aikeb seriously in politics. Because of that, the republican ticket will probably win by default. It’s a shame because there are so many intelligent people here who would make good policiana and the Democratic Party goes with Clay Aiken. It’s a shame. Not even going to touch his “get what they deserve” comments.

  7. Size Does Matter says:

    Clay, don’t quit your day job.

  8. Kiddo says:

    Ugh, FU. He is combining different elements that don’t belong together. Should you be careful about what you store on technology because you could be hacked and the government spooks might be ogling your ass? Sure. Do you deserve it? Not in any way whatsoever. That was some Granny-finger-wagging.

    Celebitchy, I detest that we have to choose the lesser of evils these days when voting, because the evils are getting closer and closer together and soon they will coalesce into a blob.

  9. EEV says:

    This is purely superficial because I don’t feel like commenting on his career or comments: If he’s not wearing mascara, those are some seriously fabulous eyelashes, and I’m officially jealous. If he IS wearing mascara, they’re still some pretty fabulous eyelashes.

  10. NewWester says:

    Countdown to when inappropriate photos of Clay are released begins in 1, 2, 3…..,

    • Candy says:

      Yuck. Wash my brain out with bleach. Who the hell would want to see those?

    • kkimber33 says:

      Exactly! I remember when the whole gay dating(?) site stuff came out about him. He has some pictures out there. I saw them. I don’t think they were nudes but he really wouldn’t want that story to come back and bite him in the @ss. Man! I sure hope it does. I can’t stand him and he looks like a freak.

  11. lucy2 says:

    What exactly was “inappropriate” about their private, personal photos? They are adults who have the right to do that if they please. I’d imagine there are bigoted people who find his sexuality “inappropriate” – would he deserve a violation of privacy for that?
    And yes, that is 100% victim blaming.

  12. tmh says:

    I totally agree don’t take pictures of youself doing something, that you would be embarrassed about it going public.

  13. Linn says:

    You deserve to have them all over the Internet? Deserve?

    I can’t even express how much that view disgusts me.

    Would it have been wiser to not have such pictures on a device connected to the Internet? Maybe
    Do they deserve to have their phones/computers hacked and their private files stolen? NO!!!!! Somebody committed a crime against those woman. They are the victims, not the offenders. Let’s not forget that.

    • Tincy says:

      I’ve never had nude photos of myself. I don’t need that. Downloading them onto cell phones or computers is just plain stupid. Why is our society so obsessed with their bodies? I don’t remember young women 20 years ago taking nude pics of themselves; it was otherwise known as pornography.

      Ladies (and gentlemen), ever heard of something called DIGNITY? Get some.

      • Marianne says:

        I’m sure people have been taking nude pictures of themselves for decades. The only reason why you “didnt hear about it” is that we now live in a day and age where social media runs rampant. Back in the older days, Im sure the only way people found out about other peoples nudes were if they were snooping in someone’s house and came across a set of polaroids or something.

        As for the whole dignity thing. You can have dignity and be proud of your body. There’s nothing shameful about the naked body. Some people might take sexy photos for a partner. Or maybe they want a visual reminder of how they used to look when they get older? Even before photographs, people would pose nude for art. I dont see how thats any different really.

      • Linn says:

        I don’t have and never had nude photos of myself, but that wasn’t my point.

        I’m pretty sure most people commenting on this thread have done something that not so nice people might exploit.

        E. g. could buy all my stuff at local stores but do I deserve to have all my money stolen, if get’s hacked and a hacker steals my account information?

        Clay Aiken’s statement is one step away from “She deserves to get raped if she drank too much.” And I don’t know how anybody can support him and I hope I never will.

        And to answer your question: Yes, I’m pretty sure many people (not just woman) took nudes of themselves 20 years ago. The technologie to share them with all the world in a second just didn’t exist.

        And dignity? How about having the dignity to not kick a man when he’s down. That seems far more important to me.
        These pictures are already embarassing enough for the VICTIMS. There’s absolutely no need to make their situation worse by blaming them for other peoples bad behaviour.

      • Tiffany :) says:

        People have been documenting the nude form for CENTURIES. It is not new. The human body is an amazing thing, and is perfectly reasonable that humans want to celebrate the many amazing shapes and sizes of this marvel.

        Human sexuality isn’t shameful. What is shameful is theft of personal property. Why isn’t that the focus?

      • Jaded says:

        Twenty years ago it was called taking Polaroids of yourself. I saw plenty of them in my day although I was never into it. So you can’t blame it on “kids today!”

        It’s thievery, plain and simple, to make an easy buck. Really no different than someone breaking into your house and stealing your jewelry.

  14. aenflex says:

    I partially agree with you. Anyone has the right to take whatever photos of themselves they wish. And those women did not deserve to be hacked, period. But it’s up to each person to safeguard their unmentionables. By either not understanding technology or not caring, a person opens themself up to some measure of culpability.

    • Kiddo says:

      Merriam Webster:

      Full Definition of CULPABLE
      archaic : guilty, criminal
      : meriting condemnation or blame especially as wrong or harmful

      I have to disagree. If you have $100 in your pocket, are you culpable if someone comes along and takes it through armed robbery? Or even if you are pick-pocketed, are you to actually be BLAMED for a criminal act committed by someone else? Should you use caution where you travel or how you carry money? Of course you should. But do you deserve actual blame for the criminal actions of someone else?

    • Tincy says:

      I totally agree. They have a right to take those pictures, but they are also responsible for wherever those pictures end up.

    • Tiffany :) says:

      I think this view point sounds reasonable, until you realize that it isn’t just nude photos that make people vulnerable. Criminals can use all sorts of information to harm a person and their family, even details that are seemingly mundane.

  15. Ash says:

    I lovey Clay Aiken when he was first on the scene. (I was in high school) even had some dumb crush on him…wth was I thinking?

    What’s up with his face? Has it always been so puffy?

    I can say that I’m no longer a fan of his, especially reading this article. I can see his point on the nude photos, but on the same token, I don’t think people deserved it. If anything, they would own up and be more careful nest time around. If you’re going to take nudes try not to show identifying markers, I can’t take nudes, I have way too many identifiable markers. Thank god, I don’t take them, and I’m not famous.

  16. Steph says:

    As long as there is software,there will always be bugs and as long as there is the internet there will always be hackers. It is an impossibility to guarantee that there will never be security breeches due to hackers and that is why you should never place nude photos on the internet or a digital device with internet connections,especially if you are a celebrity.

    Laws should be strengthened,but many hackers are from Russia and China….how are we going to enforce these laws with Russia?

    Clay is right but his delivery was rather insensitive.

  17. Tippy says:

    None of them deserved to have their photos leaked, but sometimes if you play with fire you’re gonna get burned.

  18. JudyK says:

    I’m more of a Clay fan now than I used to be…he’s grown immensely since coming in second on American Idol. He should have won. He’s tremendously talented, has hosted the Miss America Pageant, and has done Broadway. He also came in second on Celebrity Apprentice.

    He’s incredibly bright and well informed. Not liking his new look too much…what is up w/ those eyebrows and mascara…uh, no. In his defense, he did say that whoever hacked the naked pics “should be hogtied,” so I think he deserves a break on the original statement.

    And he’s made mistakes in his personal life, just like all of us have. He’s changed, just like all of us have. He’s grown, just like all of us have (although I sometimes wonder about myself).

    • Esmom says:

      I don’t know if “hogtied” is the word I’d want to hear from my public-official-to be. Doesn’t exactly demonstrate a good grasp of the law.

      • sigh((s)) says:

        You’ve never been to the south. They’d probably like more hogties from their politicians.i know the ones in my neck of the woods would.

  19. Keiley says:

    Babe needs to cool it with the bronzer.

  20. PixieWitch says:

    i get a “red headed step brother of cillian murphy” vibe.

  21. KMac says:

    He’s just gross.

  22. Marianne says:

    I get that people should be more careful about taking nudes of themselves but a)How do they deserve it? And b)How is taking nudes for your Significant other inappropriate anyway? Yes, he did come off across as a gross slut shamer.

    • Steph says:

      Marianne,there is nothing wrong,but the reality is that the internet will never be hacker free or bug free,this will never happen. We are dealing with hackers from other countries who could care less about US laws. I believe Polaroids will be making a comeback…ha ha.

      • Marianne says:

        I realize the internet isn’t hacker free. But that doesn’t mean those women “deserved”. Just as a women wearing a tight, short skirt around a bad neighbourhood should probably know a little better but dont deserve to get raped or harrassed.

    • wolfpup says:

      So true Marianne, they did not deserve it.

    • BillyBJ says:

      Exactly – well said.

  23. Geordie says:

    “Clay earned the Democratic nomination somewhat by default when his top opponent died suddenly prior to the election being called. ”

    False. His opponent died a week after Clay won the election.

    “Clay has only raised about $200k to his opponent’s $400k”

    False. Those amounts are what they had for cash on hand in June. Clay has raised closer to a million dollars without the Super PACS help, unlike his opponent who has very few individual contributors and has raised very little from constituents.

  24. siri says:

    I liked him more when he was singing “Marry, did you know?”….Ok, he calls these pics ‘inappropriate’ ,and states THAT’S why they deserve it. I personally don’t have a lot of understanding for women making pics of their private parts, and send them to their partners, but that’s just MY thinking. However, they can do whatever they want with them, and of course do NOT “deserve” to be exposed. A different thing is, to make responsible choices in this regard, knowing that nothing is 100% safe in clouds. Aiken’s statement is simply judgemental, possibly out of his religious belief. On a side note, I LOVE his voice.

  25. Arya Martell says:

    I agree with Clay but he came off as absolutely insensitive in how he said it. I’ve always been of the philosophy to never take a picture you don’t want the whole world to see but that is after making some mistakes myself. But I understand that people take many different pictures for many different reasons and it is not my place to judge.

  26. yep. says:

    I wonder if he thinks the same about women who wear miniskirts and are assaulted. Hmmm..
    But anyways, miss the days of polaroids.

  27. adele says:

    Clay hates cats. He says he will run them over every time the sees them in the road. Horrible!

    • I Choose Me says:

      Did he actually say that? If so then he deserves some hogtying of his own.

    • TheOriginalKitten says:

      Dude..I totally thought you were trolling until I just googled. Aiken hates cats. We don’t need cat-haters in Congress!
      And I agree with I Choose about the hogtying.

    • Jaderu says:

      I’m a cat lover and NOT a Clay Aiken lover. But let’s not make up things. He accidently ran over a cat when he was younger and has been haunted by it and has grown a fear of cats because of it.
      Strange…but does not equal cat hater or runner overer of cats.

      I googled out of curiosity because of my love for cats but that’s the extent of what I could find. If you have any other sort of proof, I’d like to see it. I will stand behind you in your disgust. I cannot tolerate any cruelty to animals.

  28. Janet says:

    Has this guy ever heard of photoshop? Anybody with a computer and a photoshop app can put anyone’s head on somebody else’s body. I’d bet a dollar to a donut hole most of those nude photos that were sent all over the Internet were fake.

  29. maddelina says:


  30. nemo says:

    he needs to STFU. idiot.

  31. CoolWhipLite says:

    I don’t know…I remember when Clay was on Celebrity Apprentice, and he seemed like a nice, level-headed guy with a decent sense of humor. He was a hard worker and helped the others. He used to work in the field of special education, so I might have a soft spot for him (I’m a Special Ed teacher).

    His statement about “they deserve what they get” — not the wisest choice of words, but I agree with him about being disappointed in the inadequacy of the Internet’s security systems. I guess tech security is always just a game for brilliant minds: the ones that build the security vs. the ones that tear it down. :/

  32. Ryan says:

    I forgot that he even came out. If a person sends nudes to another person and the recipient shares them, sure. You’re SOL, imo. However, if someone you never invited to look at your nudes hacks your… whatever was hacked and distributes them, they’re the only ones at fault and should be registered as sex offenders. He sounds like a real tool calling nude pictures of a celebrity’s own body on their own mobile device “inappropriate.” What is this, 1950?

  33. Anath Pariah says:

    Okay, going to say this again, but sober.

    Seven years ago when this happened to me, everyone seemed to agree with what Clay Aiken is saying now. What happened between now and then? Nobody rushed to my defense except for myself.

    I guess only celebrities’ sexuality is sacred. People called me much worse for regular nude photos and lingerie shots.

    Moreover, I’d hate to admit it, but I’d feel a little more sympathetic if I found any of these celebrities at all likable, but I don’t. I guess I’m supposed to like them more that this happened to them, but I think Jennifer Lawrence has worn out her welcome to the point of becoming outright obnoxious and Kate Upton deserves to be famous as much as Kardashian does.

    I’ll be waiting for the lynch mob.

  34. BillyBJ says:

    What exactly is “inappropriate” about private pictures taken by consenting adults? Talk about a prude…