American Idol fans are suing a music company after complaining that they were duped into buying the music of a former contestant after claims that he is gay.

The contestant, Clay Aiken, appeared in the 2003 series of American Idol, he was marketed through his boyish looks and Christian beliefs which have helped him sell millions of records. However, his followers have reacted angrily to tabloid allegations that he met men in gay sex chat rooms.

Nine women have filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission saying that his record company, RCA, and parent group, Sony/BMG, tricked them into buying the 27-year-old’s merchandise.

The case could set a precedent for other entertainers who may have something to hide.

British public relations guru, Max Clifford, told the Sunday Telegraph, “Well, that’s the PR industry finished if their case succeeds. I’d never be out of court.”

“Showbiz has always blurred image and reality. It’s just a bit of light relief.”

Mr Aiken was runner up in the 2003 contest but later recorded the best-selling US single and album of 2003. His songs often have an overt Christian message.

Sony/BMG refused to comment on his private life.