Boy George, the flamboyant former Culture Club front man, was convicted Friday of falsely imprisoning a male escort.
Norwegian escort Audun Carlsen had alleged he was handcuffed to a wall hook at the singer’s east London apartment on April 28, 2007. Prosecutors said Carlsen was held by the singer, whose real name is George O’Dowd, for under an hour.
Carlsen, 29, said O’Dowd swung a metal chain at him when he got loose and fled the apartment following a naked photo shoot.
O’Dowd, who is 46, admitted he restrained Carlsen with handcuffs while trying to figure out if Carlsen had tampered with a computer. The singer said he believed Carlsen had previously removed photos of himself that were taken by the singer.
Jurors were shown photos of welts on Carlsen’s head and injuries to his arm, which the escort said had been inflicted by O’Dowd. The singer denied he was responsible.
The iconic ’80s singer was released on bail following the verdict. He is scheduled to be sentenced Jan. 16. False imprisonment carries a maximum sentence of life in prison. Such a severe sentence is not expected in this case, though the judge warned O’Dowd that some jail time was probable.
This was not the singer’s first brush with the law.
Two years ago, he was ordered to do community service in New York — sweeping streets — after pleading guilty to falsely reporting a burglary at his lower Manhattan apartment. The officers who responded found cocaine instead.
Two of Culture Club’s best known hits are “Karma Chameleon” and “Do You Really Want to Hurt Me.” During the peak of his career, Boy George was known for his crooning voice, carefully applied female-style makeup and signature hats.