Boy George guilty of imprisoning male escort

Fri Dec 5, 2008 5:52am EST
 
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LONDON (Reuters) - British singer Boy George was found guilty on Friday of falsely imprisoning a Norwegian male escort by handcuffing him to a wall.

The former Culture Club frontman was at Snaresbrook Crown Court in east London to hear the verdict, which came at the end of a two-week trial.

The jury broke to consider its verdict at around noon on Thursday. He will be sentenced later.

The 47-year-old, tried under his real name George O'Dowd, denied falsely imprisoning Audun Carlsen at his flat in April last year, the Press Association reported.

O'Dowd told police he had invited Carlsen to his home after a cocaine-fueled pornographic photo shoot in January because he suspected the Norwegian of stealing pictures from his computer. During the trial, Carlsen countered that the singer had handcuffed him to a wall and beaten him with a chain because he was angry he had refused to sleep with him when they first met. O'Dowd did not give evidence during the trial. The court heard Carlsen describe how he sustained injuries during their meeting in April, 2007, from being beaten and handcuffed.

O'Dowd's lawyer said the injuries were consistent with bondage gear the Norwegian had worn.

The singer shot to fame in the 1980s, thanks to his distinctive voice and androgynous image, and Culture Club topped the charts with hits like "Karma Chameleon" and "Do You Really Want to Hurt Me?"

But he has struggled with drug problems, and in 2006 served community service in New York after admitting to falsely reporting a burglary. Police responding to his call found 13 bags of cocaine in his apartment.

 
<p>Singer Boy George laughs during an interview after a fashion show for his label B-Rude in Madrid November 16, 2006. REUTERS/Andrea Comas</p>