The long, sad decline of former [artist id="5224"]Culture Club[/artist] singer [artist id="3404"]Boy George[/artist] (born George O'Dowd), continued on Friday (January 16), when a British judge sentenced the flamboyant singer to 15 months in jail for falsely imprisoning and beating a male escort.
George has denied the charge and claimed the victim, Audun Carlsen, had stolen photos from his laptop. The singer, 47, admitted during the trial to handcuffing Carlsen to a bed in April 2007, saying he was doing it to figure out if the escort had purloined the pics.
George, whose family was in court for the proceedings, was also ordered to pay more than $7,400 in court costs. According to the BBC News, Judge David Radford told George he was guilty of "gratuitous violence."
"Whilst I accept that Mr. Carlsen's physical injuries were not serious or permanent, in my view there can be no doubt that your premeditated callous and humiliating handcuffing and detention of Mr. Carlsen shocked, degraded and traumatised him," Radford said. "He was deprived of his liberty and human dignity without warning or proper explanation to him of its purpose, length or purported justification."
After a string of signature hits in the 1980s with the Culture Club, the singer once known for his outrageous cross-dressing and million-selling new-wave dance hits has fallen on hard times, struggling with drug addiction and several arrests. In 2006, he falsely reported a burglary at his New York apartment, where police found drugs. In that case, he was sentenced to community service that involved picking up trash by the roadside.
Carlsen first met George through a gay social-networking site and the two met up for an erotic photo shoot. During that shoot, George believed that Carlsen took some photos off the singer's laptop, and so he later invited him back to his apartment for another shoot, and it was during that time that George, with the help of another man, chained Carlsen to the bed and beat him.