The Idol castoff's father leaves prison and waits to see his daughter

By Stephen M. Silverman
Updated May 02, 2006 08:00 AM

American Idol castoff Kellie Pickler’s father was sprung from Florida State Prison on Monday after serving more than three years for stabbing a fellow resident of a trailer park in 2003.

Surrounded by reporters, Clyde “Bo” Pickler Jr., 41, said: “Being in the position I’ve been in, I can’t take any credit for what Kellie’s done. She’s accomplished a lot in her 19 years of life, and I’m extremely proud of her – I’m going to try and patch up a few burned bridges.”

Pickler’s lawyer also said that a request has been made to shift Pickler’s parole from Florida to North Carolina, so he could be near Kellie, reports the New York Post.

“Her time on American Idol has changed my life,” added Pickler. “It has actually given me a life.”

Not that Kellie, who sang on Monday’s Live with Regis & Kelly, has kept up with her dad, who reportedly was in and out of jail all through her adolescence.

“I’m always the last to find out,” she told the Post. “I don’t know when I’m going to see him It’s been so long – I mean, where do you even begin?” She also said she prefers to see him in person rather than deal with him on the phone.

For his part, it’s obvious that his daughter’s newly found celebrity is bound to affect the elder Pickler.

“We’ve gotten more phone calls asking about when Kellie’s dad will be released than we got about the day when (our) employees got fired,” Florida Department of Corrections spokeswoman Gretl Plessinger told the Gainesville Sun newspaper, referring to a labor shakeup in March that saw the dismissal of nine high-ranking prison employees.