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David Foster on Clay Aiken's Family Life

David Foster on Clay Aiken's Family Life

Clay Aiken revealed only this week that he is gay, and now his baby son's uncle, music producer David Foster, is revealing new details about family life at home.

David's sister Jaymes gave birth to Clay's son, Parker, in August. "They've found a way to make it work for the three of them," he tells ET Canada in a new interview. "It's the perfect, perfect situation -- they're going to co-parent and they're best friends."

David was there from the beginning of his nephew's life: "I was there for the birth," he adds. "My sister just roared through the delivery, no [whining], like, boom, let's have this kid. And she did, and the baby is beautiful, and all is good."

Regarding talking to the press about his sister and her family, David said, "I talked to Jaymes and Clay this morning, and I said, 'What's the parameters?' and basically they just said, which I [know] is true, 'One sentence and then move on.'"

Posted September 24, 2008 3:00:00 PM

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Associated Press

Clay is Gay: Aiken Comes Out of the Closet

Clay is gay: Aiken comes out of the closet

By NEKESA MUMBI MOODY – 4 days ago

NEW YORK (AP) — The revelation that Clay Aiken is gay hasn't fazed Simon Cowell.

The "American Idol" judge reacted in typically sarcastic form, telling the entertainment news show "Extra": "Wow. That's a shock. It's like being told Santa Claus isn't real. Unbelievable."

Getting serious, Cowell said: "Good for him. If he said it, it's the right thing for him. ... I don't think anyone cares. Let's face it. It's 2008. You know. Who cares?"

The 29-year-old former "Idol" runner-up, multiplatinum recording artist and Broadway star acknowledges his sexuality in an interview with People magazine. He appears on the cover of the latest issue holding his infant son, Parker Foster Aiken, conceived by in-vitro fertilization with friend and producer Jaymes Foster. The headline: "Yes, I'm Gay."

Cowell representative Anne Finn said he was unreachable for further comment Wednesday. His fellow "Idol" judges were not able to be reached: Paula Abdul's spokesman, Jeff Ballard, said she was unavailable, and Randy Jackson's representative, Brit Reece, didn't immediately return phone and e-mail messages.

Cowell might not bat an eyelash, but Aiken's hardcore fans — known as Claymates — are taking the news very seriously. As of Wednesday afternoon, there were reportedly more than 2,000 entries on the message board for Aiken's official Web site.

"We'll `talk' more later, but, suffice it to say, for the first time in recent memory, I am speechless," Aiken writes on his Web site's fan page ClayOnline, according to People. "I'm so proud to know and love all of you."

To read Aiken's newest blog and post a message, the site requires you to join his fan club. Membership fees range from $14.99 plus tax to $29.99, plus shipping and handling for a Clay Aiken tote bag, lip balm and set of Clay Aiken buttons.

Meanwhile, the Aiken fan site ClayManiacs was open for viewing. Response in a thread on the site's "ShoutBox" was generally supportive, though at least one fan was shaken by Aiken's public confession.

"This is really shocking news as I had no idea he was gay," read a comment posted by "Sheridansq." "And now I have to deal with this. I am not sure what to say to people who know I was a fan. ... I didn't go to work today and am not answering the telephone."

In his People interview, Aiken credits baby Parker with making him realize that he could no longer hide his homosexuality from the world. The magazine cover features Aiken holding his son, who was born in August.

"It was the first decision I made as a father," Aiken told the magazine, which arrives on newsstands Friday. "I cannot raise a child to lie or to hide things. I wasn't raised that way, and I'm not going to raise a child to do that."

Kevin Jennings, executive director of the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network, said he hopes Aiken's announcement will help promote tolerance for families headed by gay parents.

"If you're gay, once you have a kid, it's everybody's business, whether you want it to be or not," Jennings said. "All of our members who are gay parents say that what they didn't anticipate was as soon as they had a kid, staying in the closet was impossible. Because what do you say when you go to parents' night?"

The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation also applauded Aiken's public admission.

"We congratulate Clay for making this decision and for setting an example for others and his family," said Neil Giuliano, GLAAD's president. "As we're seeing, more and more gay people, including celebrities, are living openly and honestly, and this has tremendous impact in terms of creating awareness, understanding and acceptance."

Aiken, who rose to fame on "Idol" in 2003, has long been the subject of rumors and tabloid fodder that he was gay, but usually refused to acknowledge them. In an interview with The Associated Press two years ago, he said of the talk, "I don't really feel like I have anybody to answer to but myself and God and the people I love."

Aiken said he only told his family that he was gay four years ago. He recalled a tearful discussion with his mother in a car after dropping off his brother, who was being sent to Iraq, at a military base.

"It was dark. I was sitting there, thinking to myself. I don't know why I started thinking about it ... I just started bawling. She made me pull over the car and it just came out," he said. "She started crying. She was obviously somewhat stunned. But she was very supportive and very comforting."

Aiken, who considers himself a born-again Christian, said he knows he may turn off some fans with his admission and his decision to have a child outside traditional marriage.

"I've never intended to lie to anybody at all," he said. "But if they leave, I don't want them to leave hating me."

Aiken recently released the CD "On My Way Here." He made his Broadway debut in January in "Monty Python's Spamalot" and left in May. He has since rejoined the show as the perpetually petrified Sir Robin, one of three roles he plays in the musical.

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Fans Adapt to a New Clay Aiken

Fans adapt to a new Clay Aiken

Matt Ehlers, Staff Writer

A gay person's coming out can be emotionally arduous for everyone involved, as the person acknowledging his or her sexual orientation struggles to make it known, and friends and relatives digest the news.

In the case of Raleigh's own pop star, Clay Aiken, that process is multiplied thousands of times. He's one of the Triangle's most famous residents, one many are proud to call their own. Although sales for his concert tickets and albums have diminished in recent years, Aiken's fans are still fervent, and they are treating the news of his orientation as an extended family might: Some are fine with it. Some believe he's a sinner.

And much as it happens in families, some knew all along. Ada Barlow of Durham summed up the feelings of many pop-culture watchers when she treated the news with a shrug.

"It's like, 'C'mon Clay,' " said Barlow, 52, who acknowledged that she is not a fan of Aiken's music. "Some things you can't play."

It wasn't easy for Aiken, 29, to come out of the closet. He cried when he told his mom four years ago.

Born and raised in Raleigh, he graduated from Leesville Road High School and UNC-Charlotte with intentions of becoming a teacher of special-needs children. But in 2003, "American Idol" launched him toward fame, a multi-platinum album and a role in a Broadway musical.

In the issue of People magazine that begins hitting newsstands today, Aiken described how he came out to his mother, Faye Parker. The pair had dropped off Aiken's half-brother, Brett Parker, at Camp Lejeune before his deployment to Iraq.

Aiken broke the news to her in the car.

"It was dark. I was sitting there, thinking to myself. I don't know why I started thinking about it...I just started bawling. She made me pull over the car and it just came out."

His mother started crying.

"She was obviously somewhat stunned. But she was very supportive and very comforting," Aiken told the magazine. He said his mom is still working through her feelings. "She still struggles with things quite a bit, but she's come a long way."

Efforts to reach Aiken failed. Parker declined to comment.

"I haven't even seen the People story," she said.

'It took courage'

Some fans are struggling with the disclosure as well, although most seem to be accepting of the news.

"If that's your sexual orientation, you need to be able to live free and not have to hide," said Barbara Dewees of Raleigh. Dewees, 60, has traveled to New York to see Aiken perform in "Monty Python's Spamalot," and to Iowa and Missouri for concerts.

"I think it took courage for him to do it," Dewees said. Speaking like the new grandmother that she is, she also expressed happiness about Aiken's latest family addition. "I think his baby is adorable."

In August, Aiken announced on his Web site that he had fathered a son with music-industry veteran Jaymes Foster, who worked with him on his latest album, "On My Way Here." Foster, who is reported to be in her 50s, became pregnant through artificial insemination.

The cover of People magazine features a photo of father and son. Despite the months-old news that he fathered a child with a platonic friend -- an arrangement some gay men have made to start a family -- some fans on a popular Internet forum, theclayboard.yuku.com, seemed shocked at Aiken's announcement of his homosexuality.

Wrote one fan: "I just feel rather silly now having spent the last 5 years drooling over and being fan girly for a singer I thought was straight."

In recent years, Aiken has deflected questions about his sexuality. When he first became famous, he treated the questions differently: He told people he wasn't gay.

Ted Mayer of Raleigh said that when he first approached his then high-school aged son, Andrew didn't tell the truth about his sexuality, either.

The elder Mayer, who serves as president of PFLAG Triangle, a local support group for parents, family and friends of lesbians and gays, has come to understand his son's reasons. Andrew, now 22, was nervous about what his friends and family might think. He needn't have worried.

"To me it wasn't a big issue, because he's my son no matter what," Mayer said.

But Mayer knows many friends and family members experience a variety of emotions after they find out, with shock and bewilderment often kicking in before acceptance.

Aiken's experience was similar, although his is being played out on a much larger stage. He is scheduled to appear today on "Good Morning America" to talk more about it.

"I give him a lot of credit, because he is a national figure," Mayer said. "I'm proud of him."

So are many of his fans. Although Aiken took a risk in coming out, it seems like most are sticking with him.

"We still have a ways to go in this country, but I'm OK with him being gay," said Dewees, the Raleigh grandma. "It makes no difference in my fandom."

matt.ehlers@newsobserver.com or (919) 829-4889

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Jaymes Foster: Clay's a "Natural" Dad

Jaymes Foster: Clay's a 'Natural' Dad

By David Caplan

Originally posted Thursday September 25, 2008 07:00 AM EDT

Clay Aiken's best friend – and the mother of their 7-week-old son Parker – music producer Jaymes Foster, 50, chatted with PEOPLE during the magazine's photo shoot at Aiken's home in North Carolina, where Foster is currently staying. While Aiken tended to Parker, who was conceived via in vitro fertilization, Foster dished about her pregnancy, being an older mom, and who's better at changing diapers:

What is it about Clay that makes him a great dad?

Jaymes: He's an incredible caregiver. As far as changing the diapers and seeing what's wrong with [Parker] and getting him to go sleep, Clay's a natural and he's really, really good with that. On a larger scale, he's the perfect person. He's been a school teacher, we have the same morals, family is very important to him and Parker means everything to us.

At age 50, do you feel ready to take on parenting for the first time?

Jaymes: I really think I was not ready to have children – well, I know I was not ready to have children, be a mother – in my 20s or 30s. I had the freedom then to travel the world and have a wonderful career. I believe at this point in my life it's the right time, and I think because it's the right time, I'll hopefully do a good job. If I don't, Clay will be all over me!

Was the pregnancy difficult?

Jaymes: I thought I'd be one of the lucky ones that didn't get the nausea, that I'd sail right through the pregnancy. But unfortunately I had it the whole time! I dealt with it on my own until I found out that there is a great new medication that helps eliminate the nausea, which I took the entire pregnancy. But other than that, it was really a breeze.

Do you support Clay's decision to publicly acknowledge he's gay?

Jaymes: I totally support him. It's his choice. It's a choice that he made. I love him and I'll support him in any choice that he makes, whether as an entertainer, or a father, human being, of course I support him.

Are there any baby-related chores that you or Clay shy away from?

Jaymes: It's funny because we were both very relaxed from the minute he was born. But the one thing I'm a little nervous about is clipping his hand nails because I think I might cut him, so Clay definitely has a handle on that and takes care of that. [Parker] doesn't like baths so much, so I tend to do the bathing because he kind of cries through that so I've taken that on as a job. Clay would be happy to do that, but I just figure, okay, if he does the nails, I'll do the bath.

How has your relationship with Clay changed since Parker's birth?

Jaymes: We love each other dearly and deeply as friends, but I think as parents now, there's an even greater bond, certainly for me. Our job is to remain best friends for the rest of our lives and that's the most important thing for Parker.

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Lance Bass: "I'm Happy" for Clay Aiken

Lance Bass: 'I'm Happy' for Clay Aiken

By Regan Alexander and Rennie Dyball

Originally posted Thursday September 25, 2008 10:00 AM EDT

Support continues to pour in for Clay Aiken, who publicly acknowledges he's gay in the upcoming issue of PEOPLE. His latest well-wisher: Lance Bass, who came out on the cover of PEOPLE two years ago.

"I'm happy for him," says Bass, 29. "It's good to see someone actually being true to who they are. I think it's something that's nice to share with the world, because it really does relieve a lot of pressure off of you."

The former 'N Sync-er (who is currently on Dancing with the Stars) adds that he believes Aiken will "live his life the way he wants to live it and that's the best advice I can give him."

And like Aiken (now a father to 7-week-old son Parker), Bass says he, too, hopes to have children: "But I have to find the right person to do it with. I've always dreamed of having a large family."

Still, Bass jokes of Aiken’s decision to share his story the same way he did: "Coming out on the cover of PEOPLE magazine? I mean, c'mon. Can't he be just a little bit more original?"

The Clay Aiken cover story of PEOPLE hits newsstands Friday.

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After Birth of His Son, Aiken Says It's Time to "Let the Guard Down"

After Birth of His Son, Aiken Says It's Time to 'Let the Guard Down'

Clay Aiken Talks to Diane Sawyer on "GMA" Thursday in His First TV Interview Since Revealing He's Gay


Sept. 24, 2008 —

In his first television interview since revealing he is gay, Clay Aiken told "Good Morning America" that after the birth of his son it was "time to let the guard down."

"I can't raise a kid and teach him how to lie, teach him to hide things. I can't raise a kid and teach him to keep secrets," Aiken told Diane Sawyer. "And at the same time, I also don't ever want to raise him in an environment where it's not OK for him to be exactly who he is, no matter what."

The "American Idol" alum, 29, appears on the cover of People magazine this week, cradling his new son, next to the headline, "Yes, I'm Gay."

Tune in to "Good Morning America" tomorrow for the second half of Diane Sawyer's interview with Clay Aiken.

Parker Foster Aiken, the singer's son with music producer Jaymes Foster, was born on Aug. 8. Foster, 50, became pregnant through in vitro fertilization, and she and Aiken have said they will raise their son together.

"She was ending a relationship, a marriage, which she had been in for over 20 years," he said. "She had always wanted kids; I've always wanted kids. Being a gay man, it wasn't something for me that was going to be an option either way."

Aiken, a born-again Christian, skirted questions about his sexuality for years, but first "admitted it" in 2003 while he was on "American Idol."

"When I got on 'Idol' and people were cheering me on and being supportive, there you are in an environment that is more open and more accepting and in an environment where you don't feel like such an outcast," he said. "I told Kimberley Locke, who was a fellow contestant with me on 'Idol.' She was the only person I'd ever told and she kept it to herself for years and years."

Telling his family, he said, was more difficult.

"Poor mom. I told her the day that my brother left for Iraq for the first time. We had left him at Camp LeJeune in North Carolina and were driving home and for whatever reason, I just thought, 'Well, it's a bad day already, might as well not spread it out.'"

Aiken said that the hardest person of all to tell, though, was his younger brother.

"I think at that point I was coming to realize that, you know, I don't want this to be something that he learns while he's in Iraq while he's away from home. So I told him. I cried and cried and cried. And when I was done, he said, 'OK, is that really it?' And then we walked out of the room and that was it."

"You couldn't find two people more opposite than Brett and I, yet who, who love each other and respect each other so much, and I do with him."

As far as fans go, Aiken said he did not "have any designs... that every person is going to be perfectly OK with it."

"I'm sure that there are people who will grapple with it, you know. I'm sure that emotions will run the gamut from people who already knew, to people who really believed that it wasn't true. You know, the best I can do is say that I tried and I know that you know this, as hard as I could over the past five years, never to lie about it."

In a 2006 interview with Sawyer, Aiken said that all the speculation about his sex life was "invasive" and "rude."

"What I do in my private life is nobody's business anymore," Aiken said in that interview on "GMA."

And in an interview with New York Magazine earlier this year, Aiken alluded to his asexuality.

"I have got too much on my plate," Aiken told the magazine, explaining why he was not involved in a relationship. "I'd rather focus on one thing and do that when I can devote time to it, and right now, I just don't have any desire."

After his son's birth, though, Aiken told Sawyer it was "an obvious time to just, you know, let the guard down and say, 'I have a responsibility for someone other than myself now.'"

Aiken told People magazine he expected some of his fans to be overwhelmed by the news. But after an outpouring of support from fans, Aiken wrote on his Web site: "Suffice it to say, for the first time in recent memory, I am speechless. I'm so proud to know and love all of you."

"It's taken a while for me to have faith in society to accept the fact that people are more accepting and more open-minded and more loving and caring and less interested in your personal life than I initially thought," he told "Good Morning America."

Aiken returned Tuesday to the Broadway musical "Spamalot," but he said he's most excited about his role as a new dad.

He's had talks with his mother, Faye Parker, about parenting and big dreams for Parker.

"And I've had to remind myself, you can't dream too specifically because everybody's the same way. ... But she [Faye] has done marvelously. It's great just to be able to be patient and expect things are going to take time," he said.

"Things don't change overnight."

Copyright © 2008 ABC News Internet Ventures

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Clay Aiken Discusses Family, Raising a Child and the Future

Clay Aiken Discusses Family, Raising a Child and the Future

Aiken: 'We'll Kind of Play It by Ear'


Sept. 26, 2008 —

After acknowledging his homosexuality during an interview with "Good Morning America," which aired Thursday, pop star Clay Aiken talked today about how his unconventional family came to be and what he sees when he looks to the future.

Aiken said that the thought of having a child with longtime friend Jaymes Foster by in-vitro fertilization produced laughs at first, before his son, Parker Foster Aiken, came along six weeks ago.

"It's something that we discussed kind of as a joke initially," he said in an interview with Diane Sawyer. "But over the course of a year, we really just decided. It's unconventional, of course. We're not crazy enough to think that it's not unconventional."

Aiken was confident in the ability to raise Parker and unconcerned about any social stigma.

"I grew up in a situation where my mother and my birth father, you know, there was no relationship there," he said. "There are kids who have much worse situations. So two parents who love each other as Jaymes and I do love each other, who love their son, we think that it's just about as healthy as it can get."

Aiken said the couple live together with Parker as much as possible, from Los Angeles to Raleigh, N.C., and New York.

Like any couple, they have their disagreements. Aiken jokes that whoever is "loudest" usually wins any arguments.

They also have plans for Parker.

"When he turns 5 and starts school, it's our goal, it's our plan to have him go to school in North Carolina, to kind of go to the same schools that I went to and be raised in an environment which is interesting," Aiken said.

"I still love it where I'm from," Aiken said of his North Carolina upbringing. "And I love the people of North Carolina and I'm not leaving. I want my son to be raised in the same place because I think -- like I said I have an inordinate amount of hope and I have an amazing amount of faith in Americans and society and the people who I grew up with and everywhere."

When it comes to plans for him and Foster, however, Aiken is happily unsure.

"We are raising children because we love the child and we care about each other and we respect each other. And, you know, one day [Jaymes] may find someone. One day I might. But our priority is [Parker]."

"I don't have all the answers, but nobody really does and we kind of see it that way, you know --I can't predict tomorrow any more than you can or any more than anybody who's married can."

One thing Aiken is sure about is the profound effect Parker has had on him already.

"You know, my mom said when he was born -- she was in the hospital when he was born -- and she looked at me and she said, 'You never thought you could love something like this, did you?' And I was like, 'Wow, I kind of get what people have been saying all along.'"

Copyright © 2008 ABC News Internet Ventures

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Clay Aiken: My Son's Surgery Was a Defining Moment

Clay Aiken: My Son's Surgery Was a Defining Moment

By David Caplan

Originally posted Friday September 26, 2008 07:00 AM EDT

When Clay Aiken's son, Parker, was four weeks old, the singer was thrust into panic mode: The baby, who had been vomiting with increasing frequency, was slated to undergo emergency surgery for an intestinal condition that complicates digestion.

"He had been gassy for weeks and then he started throwing up," Aiken, 29, tells PEOPLE in its latest issue. "Jaymes [Foster, the baby's mother] and I were trying to be calm, rational parents, so we didn't call the doctors too much, but it just got to a point where he was vomiting everything. He was starting to get dehydrated."

Parker was soon admitted to a nearby hospital and diagnosed with pyloric stenosis, a condition that prompted doctors to decide he needed surgery the following day.

It was in the early hours of the morning, shortly before Parker was scheduled for the surgery at a nearby hospital, that Aiken, who was at his home in North Carolina, "got really panicky," he tells PEOPLE.

So the singer headed to the hospital around 2 a.m. – after second-guessing his impending visit.

Wanted to Know Everything

"I was a little worried, like 'I don't think they're going to let me in the hospital at 2 or3 in the morning.' Then I thought, 'Wait a second, I'm the father! Of course they'll let me in," Aiken says. "It was the first moment when I thought, 'I'm actually this child's father!' "

Aiken came armed with a series of questions for the doctors. "I don't like to nag people, but I asked every question I could think of, and I thought of some more and called them back. I wanted to know everything," he says.

"I was like, wait a second, this is my responsibility, I need to take care of this child, and he can't ask questions for himself. It was a reality check, like this is the real deal."

As for Parker now, a beaming Aiken says, "He's fine, healthy and doing well!"

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The Real Story Behind Clay Aiken's Coming Out

The Real Story Behind Clay Aiken's Coming Out

People was the only tabloid with a chance

JOSSIP REPORTS — The story behind Clay Aiken's coming out cover for People goes something like this: Lots of magazines were in the running for the photo exclusive, but People outbid them all for a cool $500,000. That's the way MSNBC's The Scoop reported it last week, and that's the story Page Six carried this morning.

Except as our sources tell it — and these are the type of sources who were, let's say, involved in the actual transaction — OK! didn't have a shot in hell at the pictures. In fact, no tabloid did. Not Us Weekly, not Star, and certainly not In Touch or Life & Style.

Despite what OK! might have you believe, the only way Clay's coming out would be told was in the pages of People. And that's exactly how it happened. Here's why:

Clay's publicist is Cindi Berger at PMK-HBH, the powerhouse PR firm. Berger's client roster includes names like Barbara Walters, and another famous gay, Rosie O'Donnell. Suffice to say, she hates the tabloids with a passion, and the idea of having a "working relationship" with them in a farce. Except for People. She's maintained a long and healthy relationship with the tabloid, and knew it was the only place for her client Aiken to come out. Additionally, People has a history of respecting coming out stories (see: Lance, Ellen).

Which meant that not only did Aiken's camp not shop the pictures around to all the tabloids, but the weeklies that did try to submit bids to Team Aiken were rebuffed. We're told Berger and PMK "did not entertain any interest" from other magazines. "They were all brushed off," says our knowledgeable source.

Further, this story was a two-parter: Clay came out and showed off his newborn celebrity baby. If he were simply unveiling his new child without coming out, maybe Aiken would've taken the photos to market to bid up the price. But combining the baby pics with his coming out story, Berger and Aiken knew People was the only logical decision.

The reports you've been reading, from MSNBC and Page Six, insist that OK! was bidding for Clay's pics, but that new topper Kent Brownridge pulled the plug because he's done with spending huge sums on exclusive photos. Which, to be sure, may be true: Brownridge is indeed cutting the fat at the tabloid to lower spending. But even if Brownridge decided to actually compete with People, OK! would've have snagged the pics. Insists our source: "Any editor who claims they had any real discussion with PMK about Aiken coming out is lying, plain and simple."

For what it's worth, the gossip mill is pointing its finger at exiting OK! executive editor Rob Shuter as the source of both the MSNBC and P6 items. Last week, when we heard rumblings about all this, we asked The Scoop's Courtney Hazlett, who used to work at OK!, whether she was fed the info from Shuter, but she insisted she had "multiple sources" on the item.

Meanwhile, ousted editor-in-chief Sarah Ivens has been the rumored source on last week's Brownridge-bashing in the Post.

These are all just pure coincidences, right?

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