Roger Friedman of FoxNews.com says Mario Vazquez is a good kid and the idea that he was sexually harrassing someone goes against everything Friedman has seen and heard about him. Fair enough. But there are two other layers to this story. People claim Vazquez might have left Idol because of his behavior, but Friedman says convincingly why did everyone wait till he was virutally off the radar before filing a lawsuit? Then Friedman insists the only reason Vazquez left Idol early was because a lawyer who worked for Clay Aiken told Vazquez horror stories about how hard it is to get out of your Idol contract and he would be beholden to them for seven years. That hardly seems likely since Mario turned around and signed with Clive Davis anyway, the very label he would have been signed to if he'd won the show. Further, it seems crazily cocky and short-sighted to leave a talent show giving you worldwide massive exposure because you're worried that you'll do so well that you'll win a record deal and you don't want the hassle of working with the Idol people -- especially since that means you'll have to lay low for at least a year after the season was over before releasing anything anywhere. It certainly was the wrong decision for Mario, whose solo album has completely flopped, something Friedman is too polite to mention. He also doesn't mention the other reason people assumed Vazquez might have left the show: he was closeted and was afraid it would come out. But Friedman does refer to him as "soft-spoken," which seems like "La Confidential" code for the same thing.
UPDATE: I changed the wording above to reflect the reality that while many of the Idol artists have broken away in one way or another, they're all tied into 19 contractually in one way or another for quite a few years, even if it's only symbolically. I do have the impression with some of them (like Kelly) that 19 gets its cut but she has her own team directing her career and just deals with the financial obligation to them until the contract runs out. But of course, I'm not privvy to all the deals and how they work.