October 11, 2010 / 2:03 PM / 8 years ago

George Michael freed from jail, vows new start

LONDON (Reuters) - British pop singer George Michael was released from prison on Monday after serving four weeks for driving under the influence of cannabis.

British singer George Michael arrives at Highbury Magistrates Court in London September 14, 2010. REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett

The 47-year-old was sentenced to eight weeks in jail last month after he smashed his car into the facade of a London shop in July.

“I’m coming out here on my own so that you realize I’m going to start again,” Michael told reporters outside his home in north London.

The singer was freed from Highpoint Prison in Suffolk, in eastern England, from where he told fans earlier this month: “in the last three weeks, there have been no tears, no anxiety, no bullying — in fact, not so much as a sleepless night for me.”

“On the contrary, I’ve been treated with kindness by fellow inmates and prison staff alike ...”

At his sentencing on September 14, a judge told Michael he would spend four weeks behind bars and the remainder of his term on license. He was also banned from driving for five years and fined.

A former frontman for the band Wham!, Michael has sold an estimated 100 million albums as a solo artist. He hinted in a statement last week that he would return to the recording studio after years without releasing new material.

The star has a history of drug and driving offences. He was banned from driving for two years in 2007 and sentenced to 100 hours of community service after admitting to driving when unfit due to drugs.

In 2008, Michael apologized to fans after being arrested and cautioned by police for possession of drugs, promising to “sort himself out.”

Winner of a Grammy award, Michael is famous worldwide for hits like “Careless Whisper” and “Faith.”

Reporting by Anna Yukhananov; Editing by Steve Addison

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