Former 'American Idol' host Brian Dunkleman slams the 'human barnacles' shaming him for now being an Uber driver

Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic/Getty ImagesBrian Dunkleman attending Fox’s ‘American Idol’ finale in 2016.
  • Brian Dunkleman co-hosted “American Idol” with Ryan Seacrest for its first season.
  • Now he drives Uber, as TMZ recently uncovered thanks to divorce filing documents.
  • Following the TMZ report, Dunkleman tweeted a vehement response to story.
  • “I chose to stop doing standup comedy and started driving an Uber so I could be there for my son as much as he needed after our life as we knew it was destroyed,” he wrote, tagging TMZ. “Print that.”
  • Dunkleman left “American Idol” in 2002 – according to his account he “beat them to the punch.”

Brian Dunkleman was the co-host of “American Idol” for its premiere season back in 2002. Now, 16 years later TMZ reported that his main occupation is driving rideshares for Uber. Following the TMZ article published on January 3, Dunkleman tweeted two responses, tagging TMZ and the site’s founder Harvey Levin each time.

“I chose to stop doing standup comedy and started driving an Uber so I could be there for my son as much as he needed after our life as we knew it was destroyed,” Dunkleman wrote. “Print that.”

In TMZ’s now-updated article reflecting Dunkleman’s reply, the site postulates he is referring to the current divorce and custody negotiations Dunkleman is involved with. Those court filings were how TMZ discovered the former “American Idol” host’s new gig.

“And I make over a grand on a good week motherf——,” Dunkleman said in the second tweet, adding the hashtag #HumanBarnacles.

Ryan Seacrest, Brian Dunkleman, Kelly Clarkson on American Idol 2002 Getty ImagesJeffrey Mayer/WireImage/Getty ImagesRyan Seacrest, Brian Dunkleman, and Kelly Clarkson on stage at the ‘American Idol’ tour in Las Vegas.

Dunkleman’s girlfriend, identified as Andrea Whitney on Twitter, came to his defence as well.

“This is why he’s an Uber driver,” she wrote as the caption on a tweeted photo of what appears to be Dunkleman and his son. “F— you [TMZ].”

Her Twitter profile now has the hashtag #ImInLoveWithAnUberDriver, a phrase she attached to a second tweet showing herself in a bikini.

In a tell-all column published by Variety in 2016, Dunkleman reflected on his stint at “American Idol.” He indicated that he left the show by choice, but that he recalls it being a move that simply “beat them to the punch” before he was fired. Dunkleman described the stress and emotion he felt after first realising he was about to have his life changed (and start making $US17,000 per week) as the host of “American Idol.”


Read more:
WHERE ARE THEY NOW: All the ‘American Idol’ winners

“Fifteen years later, looking back at that summer, it almost doesn’t seem real,” Dunkleman wrote. “Like it happened to someone else. Considering the mental and emotional state I was in, it’s incredible I even made it through that whole first season.”

On Thursday morning, following the initial wave of response to TMZ’s revelation about his Uber driving job, Dunkleman tweeted again.

“Light or dark? Time to choose a side,” he wrote. “I feel a lot of light coming my way right now.”

Representatives for Dunkleman did not immediately respond to INSIDER’s request for comment.

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