SUN TIMES MEDIA WIRE - A former “American Idol” contestant from the northwest suburbs was arrested Saturday for allegedly punching a bouncer at a Palatine bar.
But her attorney says singer/songwriter/actress Haley Reinhart was the victim, not the aggressor, and she will take legal action once the investigation clears her client.
Reinhart, a 26-year-old who placed third in the 10th season of “American Idol,” was charged with one count of battery, according to a statement from Palatine police. She was released on her own recognizance and scheduled to appear in court Aug. 2 in Rolling Meadows.
Officers were called about 2 a.m. to a report of unwanted patrons at the Lamplighter Inn Tavern & Grille at 60 N. Bothwell St. in Palatine, police said. The bar staff had asked several patrons to leave after knocking over a table.
Reinhart started arguing with a security guard while the group was being escorted out, police said. She then struck the guard “in the head with a closed fist.”
Reinhart is originally from northwest suburban Wheeling, but now lives in Los Angeles, according to the singer’s official Facebook page.
In a statement emailed to the Sun-Times, Reinhart’s attorney told a much different story.
“Without provocation, Haley Reinhart was assaulted by bouncers at the Lamplighter Inn. After forcefully removing Ms. Reinhart, they violently beat her friend, who sustained multiple injuries,” attorney Dina LaPolt said.
“We believe that she will be exonerated of all charges once the investigation is completed. We plan on taking legal action against all those who were involved in this unfortunate incident.”
After graduating from Wheeling High School, Reinhart attended Harper College where she studied music, with an emphasis on jazz, according to an online biography.
Following her performance on American Idol, she released her first album, “Listen Up!,” in 2012. Her second album, “Better,” was released in 2016. She has also performed and toured with Postmodern Jukebox.
Her screen career has included stints on Hell’s Kitchen and 90210 in 2012, as well as a recurring role on the Netflix original F is for Family.