From left: Ryan Seacrest and Brian Dunkleman

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Former 'American Idol' host defends driving Uber

January 04, 2019 - 11:37 am
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By Lisa Respers France, CNN

(CNN) -- Brian Dunkleman won't be job-shamed for driving an Uber.

The former co-host of the first season of "American Idol" in 2002 is hitting back after TMZ unearthed his current occupation while reporting on Dunkleman's divorce and custody battle with his estranged wife, Kalea Dunkleman.

The couple are the parents of a young son.

According to TMZ, financial documents filed as part of the case had Brian Dunkleman's listed occupation as "Uber driver."

They also reported that he started that job in 2016 where he said he works about 45 hours a week and earns around $800 a week.

Dunkleman tweeted at TMZ and its founder, Harvey Levin, on Thursday.

"I chose to stop doing standup comedy and started driving an Uber so I could be there for my son as much as he needed after our life as we knew it was destroyed," Dunkleman tweeted. "Print that. @TMZ @HarveyLevinTMZ."

He added in a separate tweet "And I make over a grand on a good week motherf***ers. @TMZ @HarveyLevinTMZ #HumanBarnacles."

Dunkleman is not the only actor to face "job shaming" in recent months.

RELATED: 'Cosby' actor thankful for support about grocery store job

In September, former "Cosby Show" actor Geoffrey Owens defended working an honest days work after he was spotted bagging groceries at a Trader Joe's in New Jersey.

Dunkleman told CNN in 2016 that he battles the perception he was fired from "Idol" (he said he left to pursue his acting career) and definitely regrets missing out on the financial success the show would have garnered him.

"Of course, when it comes to the financial aspect, of course there are regrets. I wouldn't be human if I said no," he said.

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