Clay Aiken and Diane Sawyer were spotted by IrishCentral.com in deep conversation for over an hour at the Peninsula Hotel in Manhattan on Tuesday night as fans of Dave Matthews, who was playing in the nearby Madison Square Garden, milled around.
Finally, one of the IrishCentral staffers plucked up the courage to ask Aiken for his autograph and a photograph, which he willingly obliged. Irish American Sawyer did not look all that happy at the interruption, however. Or perhaps she was a little miffed she wasn’t being asked.
Back in 2006, Diane Sawyer and Clay Aiken clashed angrily on “Good Morning America” when Sawyer asked him point blank if he was gay.
Last September Aiken was back on her show talking about his new born son and admitting that yes, he was gay.
Sawyer recently researched her Irish roots for her program .
“We… mostly come from Ireland, with a few tall, blonde English and German thrown in. We're from Northern Scots-Irish roots, like Banbridge (A town in County Down Northern Ireland) with its village and castles, where they don't exactly consider me a legend.
“‘The one in prison?’ asked one Banbridge resident when my name was mentioned.
“Another was equally puzzled. ‘Who? I haven't, no, sorry, really I haven't heard of him.’
“While Sam Champion’s Irish forbearers look cheerful, like the Irish who sing ‘Mother Macree’ in pubs, my kind of Irish were the wiry, scrappy mountain pioneers.
“Our family history really begins in Kentucky, in the Cumberland Gap, the rugged pass between the Appalachian and Cumberland mountains,” Sawyer said.
The Sawyers, Mackeys, Dunagans and Hatfields - yes, like the Hatfields and McCoys - spent the 1700s and 1800s battling their way through hard times in the freezing cold, living alongside and even marrying the native Cherokee.