Kelly Clarkson has sold more than 20 million albums since winning the first season of American Idol, but runner-up contestant Justin Guarini isn’t doing quite as well. In a shocking blog post this week, Guarini revealed that he’s broke and even skips meals to make sure that his kids can eat. Now, however, the American Idol alum has backtracked on his post, saying that he has, in fact, skipped meals, but is “nowhere near poverty.”
In the surprising blog entry, Guarini hinted at depression, since his luck has taken a turn for the worse since American Idol. “I have spent days skipping meals in order to make sure I have enough. To make sure my children, and my wife, have enough,” he wrote. “I am struggling to make each day meet the next without breaking down and curling up. I’ll smile, and laugh...because it’s the only way to keep the ghosts of regret and loss at bay.”
Guarini later denied being financially destitute, but asked his fans for support as he is looking for his luck to change. “I tell you all this to reintroduce myself to you,” he wrote. “As I am now. To take you with me on this new adventure, to hopefully regain and surpass all that I had before…but this time with a family.”
Guarini's self-titled debut album in 2003 sold 134,000 copies, but after receiving scathing reviews for his role in the movie From Justin to Kelly, he was promptly dropped from RCA Records. He was the co-host for Idol Wrap and Idol Tonight on the TV Guide Network in 2007, and appeared on Broadway in the 2010 play Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown and the 2011 musical American Idiot. Guarini has also acted steadily in regional theater productions, but the income from those projects can be scarce at best.
Unfortunately, Guarini isn’t the only successful American Idol alum with money troubles. Former winner Fantasia Barrino was forced to hand over her $1.1 million North Carolina mansion last April after borrowing against her home to pay back taxes.