LATEST: Nine former fans of AMERICAN IDOL star Clay Aiken are forging ahead with threats to sue his record label bosses for false advertising.

The one-time devotees have been shocked by recent US tabloid claims the wholesome pop singer is gay and they've filed a Federal Trade Commission complain against executives at RCA and Sony/BMG, alleging they were duped in marketing and promotional campaigns.

The nine-strong group, listing themselves as "aggrieved consumers" SUSAN J, PATRICIA A, JACQUELYN C, KAREN G, PHYLLIS S, CAROL M, KAREN G, KIM M and LINDA F, hail from all over America.

They allege that employees of RCA, Sony/BMG, and Aiken himself "engaged in collusion to prevent public disclosures they believed might be harmful to their product".

The angry ladies go on to state, "This is tantamount to a manufacturer concealing information about a defective product. Therefore these actions were both unfair and deceptive to consumers."

A spokeswoman for the group says, "As consumers, we feel ripped off. It is obvious now that the private Clay is very different from the manufactured packaged public Clay that was marketed to us."

The group is asking the FTC to investigate the practices of the record companies, to invoke civil penalties where appropriate, and to enjoin the companies from violating the Federal Trade Commission Act.