Former Culture Club singer [artist id="3404"]Boy George[/artist] (born George O'Dowd) was convicted by a London jury on Thursday of imprisoning a male escort in his apartment in 2007.
According to Sky News, prosecutors claimed that George restrained Norwegian escort Audun Carlsen, 29, with handcuffs in the singer's London apartment on April 28, 2007. Then, as Carlsen fled the apartment after a nude photo shoot, George beat him with a metal chain, the jury found.
George, 46, did not testify in the trial, but admitted to police that he handcuffed Carlsen to a bad while trying to investigate whether someone had tampered with one of his home computers. George said he believed that Carlsen had removed from the computer some photos George had taken of him during a previous meeting. Carlsen testified that during their April meeting, George called him into his bedroom, jumped on him, wrestled him to the ground and began beating him. He told the court that George dragged him across the floor toward a bed and shackled him to a hook drilled into the wall.
Jurors were shows pictures of welts on Carlsen's head and injuries to his arm, but the singer denied hitting him and suggested Carlsen received the marks because he was HIV-positive. Sky News reported that when the verdict was read, George's "mouth dropped and his friends in the public gallery gasped."
The '80s pop star was released following the verdict and is due back in court for sentencing on January 16. The judge in the case indicated that jail was "the more likely option" for him. It's the latest setback for the flamboyant George, who has struggled with a serious heroin addiction and several drug-related arrests, including one in Manhattan in October 2005 in which police found cocaine in his apartment after he called them to report a burglary.