September 21, 2008 / 9:55 AM / in 9 years

George Michael apologizes for latest drugs bust

LONDON (Reuters) - British pop star George Michael apologized to fans on Sunday and promised to “sort himself out” after his arrest and caution by police for possession of drugs.

<p>George Michael performs in concert at the Forum during his "Live Global Tour" in Inglewood, California June 25, 2008. This is Michael's first North American tour in 17 years. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni</p>

Michael, 45, was arrested in a public toilet in the north London suburb of Hampstead on Friday afternoon after he was found in possession of crack cocaine and cannabis, according to the Sunday People newspaper.

The Metropolitan Police has confirmed the arrest of a 45-year-old man in north London and his caution for possession of class A and class C drugs.

“I want to apologize to my fans for screwing up again, and to promise them I’ll sort myself out,” said Michael in a statement issued through his publicist. “And to say sorry to everybody else, just for boring them.”

The multi-millionaire singer has had several brushes with the law over his recreational drug use.

In 2006 he was found slumped over the wheel of his car in London and later admitted driving while unfit due to drugs. He was banned from driving for two years and sentenced to 100 hours of community service.

In an interview on BBC radio last year, Michael discussed his drug problems, saying he was aware that he smoked too much marijuana and was trying to reduce his consumption.

“In a strange way I’ve spent the last 15 to 20 years trying to derail my own career, but it never seems to suffer,” he said.

“I suffer like crazy. I’ve suffered bereavements and public humiliations, but my career always seems to right itself like a plastic duck in the bath.”

Michael has sold nearly 100 million records, winning a global fan base with hits such as “Careless Whisper” and “Faith.” He is estimated to be worth as much as $200 million.

Earlier this year he signed up for a no-holds-barred autobiography which he intends to write entirely by himself.

Michael ended a nearly two-year world tour in August this year with two performances in London’s Earls Court. He has hinted that he may not tour again.

The former lead singer with 1980s band Wham! ended years of speculation about his sexuality by announcing he was gay after he was arrested in 1998 for engaging in a “lewd act” in a Los Angeles public toilet.

Reporting by Luke Baker and John Joseph; Editing by Keith Weir

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