The legal woes of former Culture Club singer Boy George intensified today when he was jailed for 15 months. In 2005, George, whose real name is George O’Dowd, was arrested in Manhattan on suspicion of possessing cocaine. The following year, he picked garbage off the street as part of his community service. In December 2008 O’Dowd was arrested again, this time accused of assaulting and falsely imprisoning a Norwegian man, Audun Carlsen, in his East London home.
The ensuing court case found O’Dowd denying the claim, and asserting that Carlsen had stolen photographs from his computer. The singer met Carlsen through an online social networking site, and ended up going back to O’Dowd’s East London apartment, where the alleged assault took place. The judge in the trial, David Radford, said O’Dowd was guilty of "gratuitous violence" and had denied Carsen his dignity.
Radford also said that O’Dowd’s actions, which were allegedly committed with the help of an accomplice, were "premeditated,” "callous,” and "degrading.” He claims the singer "traumatized" his victim, and that "he [Carlsen] was denied his dignity.” Carlsen claims he had to escape from O’Dowd’s apartment after being beaten. The 15-month sentence draws a sorry chapter in O’Dowd’s life to a close, in which he also had to pay out £31,000 (approx. $46,000) to an American promoter after canceling a show. [BBC]