Boy George, born George O’Dowd, has revealed his shame over his assault conviction, for which he served four months in prison in 2009. TheHuffington Post reported that Boy George claimed he had a psychotic episode and that he has not yet apologized to his victim.
— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) February 17, 2017
The Culture Club singer was speaking with Piers Morgan for his ITV Life Story series and discussed his conviction on assault and false imprisonment in his London flat of Audun Carlsen, a Norwegian model. The assault occurred in 2007, and Boy George claims that at the time he was having a psychotic episode and that as a “drug addict,” he “wasn’t sane.”
“I stopped him from leaving my apartment so I did that, yes, that was what I got done for. It was terrible what I did and I’m absolutely ashamed and sorry about what I did but it’s been very difficult to talk about it, but what I did was wrong. It was wrong and I still pay the consequences for that now.”
During his discussion with Piers Morgan, the Culture Club singer became quite emotional. He went on to explain that he had his own reasons for declining to give evidence in court during his trial, saying that he felt it would be “the dignified thing to do” to simply “accept” what was happening. Also, he claimed that he didn’t want his mother to hear him giving evidence in court.
“When I went to trial, I was a year clean so I was already sober so that person I was in court and the person who had been arrested, they were two different people, plus I just didn’t want my mom to have to hear all this stuff in court. I just thought, ‘do you know what, I’m just going to accept it, I’m just going to accept the consequences of what happened,’ but one of the things that people don’t know is that I was prosecuted on my own evidence. I sent myself to prison.”
— HuffPost UK Ent (@HuffPostUKEnt) February 16, 2017
Discussing why he hasn’t apologized to his victim, the singer explained that he didn’t think it would make any difference, and again ran the argument that keeping his silence was the “dignified” thing to do.
“I always felt like not talking about it was dignified because I thought if I talk about it, I’m just going to hurt him, I’m going to hurt the people I love. Where’s the upside?”
Boy George also discussed his time in prison, saying that he had friends who wrote to him every day. One of those friends was Stephen Fry. He added that he was very humbled by the support he received and was aware that he’d messed things up pretty badly. He acknowledged to himself that he had a lot of work to do, so he made a decision to put his life back together once the whole ordeal was over.
In other news, the Mirror reported that, during the heydays of Culture Club, Boy George had to wear a bullet-proof vest because of all the deaths threats he received.
The gay icon received a lot of backlash during his days in Culture Club, revealing to Piers Morgan that while he was doing a tour in the United States, he received death threats, which forced him to wear a bulletproof vest for his gig in Louisiana. He said the choice was to either cancel the gig or wear the bulletproof vest, so he made the rather brave choice of opting for the vest.
Boy George revealed, rather sadly, that he received a lot of negative reactions from some people, which meant that he was somewhat restricted to the appearances he was able to make. For example, he wasn’t wanted on children’s shows.
It seems that Boy George’s life has not always been easy, and he recalls a difficult and complex relationship with his loving but violent father. At the tender age of eight-years-old, it was he who helped his mother survive a suicide attempt.
— Daily Express (@Daily_Express) February 16, 2017
During the interview, the singer spoke openly about his rise to fame with Culture Club, including his difficult relationship with fellow band member, Jon Moss. In what turned out to be an interesting and open discussion, Boy George discussed his heroin addiction, and how today he’s more interested in Buddhist chanting than he is in drugs.
When Piers referred to him as the most iconic and flamboyant pop star of all time, the singer responded.
“Well I don’t think you think about yourself in those terms, do you know what I mean? You don’t wake up in the morning and think, ‘Oh I’m really iconic.'”
Metro reported that viewers have been full of praise for Boy George and his candid comments about family violence and, in particular, domestic abuse in his own family.
— RTÉ Archives (@RTEArchives) February 8, 2017
The Culture Club singer admitted that, as a young man, he was punched and hit all the time by his father. While it seems the singer loved his father, Jeremiah O’Dowd, the relationship was complicated by physically violent outbursts.
Speaking emotionally, Boy George explained that his father would fly off the handle very quickly, despite the fact that he was generally quite funny and charismatic. It wasn’t until he was around 15- or 16-years of age that he realized what a contradiction his father was, and just how strong his mother was.
“My dad was quite an extreme man. [He] could lose his temper and chuck the entire Sunday dinner over and everybody went hungry. He hit us all the time, punched us, but everyone in the 70s punched you. It happened a lot.”
Home viewers who watched the interview with Piers Morgan immediately took to social media, praising the singer for sharing such personal and difficult moments from his private life.
[Featured Image by Drew Gurian/AP Images]