AMERICAN IDOL star Clay Aiken is only just coming to terms with his half-sister's suicide after years of blaming himself.

The singer changed his name from GRISSOM to Aiken after falling out with his biological father, and the decision upset his family so much he was asked to leave his grandmother's funeral.

But he feared the name change had a greater impact on his sister DEBORAH.

He says, "She called and I think I panicked so I didn't call her back and the following February she committed suicide.

"I was at school and my mom said, 'Your sister Deb shot herself last night.'

"It really hit hard. I spent a long time convincing myself that I wasn't the reason that Deb committed suicide."

13/10/2003 02:45