What Did Boy George Do? What was Boy George found guilty of and how long did the I'm a Celebrity star spend in jail?

A new generation are being introduced to the singing star thanks to his appearance on the reality television show, but many may not be aware of a dark chapter in his life.

Singer Boy George spent time in prison in 2009.
Singer Boy George spent time in prison in 2009.

As the lead singer of Culture Club George O'Dowd – better known as Boy George – was one of the biggest pop stars of the 1980s with a string of hit singles including ‘Karma Chameleon’ and ‘Do You Really Want to Hurt Me’.

His androgynous look quickly made him a style icon and he went on to enjoy success in a variety of mediums, including as a DJ, fashion designer, mixed media artist, photographer and record producer.

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More recently he has appeared as a judge and mentor on television talent series ‘The Voice’ both in the UK and Australia, while in 2015 he received an Ivor Novello Award for Outstanding Services to British Music.

Earlier this month he was flown into the Aussie jungle to take part in the latest series of I’m A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here, where he has clashed with former Health Secretary Matt Hancock.

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In a recent episode ‘A Place In The Sun’ presenter Scarlette Douglas brought up an incident that took place in 2007, saying: “'What happened with you BG and some guy in handcuffs and a radiator?”

Speaking in the ‘Bush Telegraph’ Boy George later said: “Scarlette blatantly talked about my court case. I thought it was inappropriate what she did, actually. I thought she shouldn't have said what she said to me. And I thought I handled it really well as it's a big sore point for me when people say things like that.”

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So what was the incident all about? Here’s everything we know.

What was Boy George found guilty of?

In December 2008 the singer was convicted of assault and false imprisonment for an incident that occurred in April the previous year.

Snaresbrook Crown Court, in London, heard that George had handcuffed Norwegian model and escort Audun Carlsen to a wall fixture then beat him with a metal chain.

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Carlsen had originally visited George to act as a model in a photography session.

How long was he in jail for?

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George was sentenced to 15 months in jail on January 16, 2009, and was initially sent to HM Prison Pentonville, in London, before being transferred to HM Prison Highpoint North in Suffolk.

He was released early after four months on May 11, 2009, but was subject to a strict curfew and required to wear an ankle monitor for threst of his sentence.

What other repercussions did the crime have?

In 2009 Boy George was set to appear in the final series of Celebrity Big Brother to be broadcast by Channel 4 but was blocked by the Probation Service, who said that his participation would pose “a high level of risk” to the service and that the money he would earn could undermine public confidence in the criminal justice system.

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Did Boy George apologise for his crime?

Appearing on Piers Morgan’s Life Stories in 2017, Boy George apologised for what he had done.

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He said: “I was prosecuted on my own evidence. I sent myself to prison.”

Blaming the crime on a “psychotic episode”, he added: “I stopped him from leaving my apartment. It’s terrible what I did, and I’m ashamed and sorry for what I did. It was wrong.”

During the trial George's defence team presented the effects of his long-term cocaine use as a mitigating factor.

What have Boy George and ITV said about his appearance on I'm A Celebrity?

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A spokesperson for ITV said: “This is a historic, spent conviction and George has appeared on major TV networks globally on numerous occasions since over the last decade.”

A spokesperson for the singer added: “George went to jail for four months willingly after openly confessing to false imprisonment during a psychotic break 15 years ago whilst in the midst of a well-documented drug problem.

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“He apologised publicly on Piers Morgan’s life stories and we are very proud of him for his rehabilitation.

“Everyone is entitled to a second chance and George has certainly earned it.”

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