CALENDER: 08. June

 Jun 

Fri 08 Jun 2007 

Two-Year Driving Ban & 100 hours community service For

George Michael

Updated: 13:39, Friday June 08, 2007

 

George Michael has been sentenced to 100 hours community service and banned from driving for two years after being caught at the wheel of his car under the influence of drugs.


Speaking after the case, the pop starsaid he was glad to put it behind him and accepted "full responsibility" for his actions.

The sentence was handed down the day before the singer is due to play the first concert at the new Wembley stadium.

Michael, 43, had pleaded guilty to drug-driving at Brent Magistrates' Court last month.

The singer was arrested in Cricklewood, north London, after motorists reported a car obstructing the road at traffic lights.

He was found slumped at the wheel of his Mercedes with a cocktail of legal and illegal drugs in his system.

The former Wham! star, whose birth name is George Panayiotou, pleaded guilty "due to tiredness and prescription drugs".

He told the court: "I was ashamed I had done something really wrong in putting other people at risk."

His lawyer, Brian Spiro, said: "He now fully accepts to have got into the car on that occasion, given his tiredness, given the medication he had been given was the wrong, improper thing to do."

He told reporters: "I am glad to put this behind me and now I'm off to do the biggest show of my life."

Since his guilty plea, Michael has admitted an addiction to prescription drugs during a TV interview with Michael Parkinson.

He also told the presenter he believed the world would be a better place if more people smoked marijuana.

The outspoken star is currently on a European and UK tour which includes Saturday's concert at Wembley.


Fri 08 Jun 2007

 

GEORGE CONFESSES

EXCLUSIVE: HIS ONLY INTERVIEW Mum hid gay uncle from me Aids fears stopped my sex with women

TODAY, George Michael is in the dock at Brent Magistrates Court - tomorrow he will be playing to thousands of screaming fans at the new Wembley Stadium. But then his life has always been marked by incredible highs and terrible lows...

The lows include him being arrested in public toilets, falling asleep at the wheel of his car and smoking marijuana on telly. And the latest downpoint sees him in court facing a sentence for driving under the influence of prescription drugs.

Over the last few weeks, the former Wham! heart-throb, who is worth an estimated 60million, has been forced to come to terms with the fact that his private life has been spinning out of control.

Perhaps it's this realisation that has prompted 43-year-old George's frankest interview to date.

In it, he reveals he only had three girlfriends before coming out, why it took a tragedy for him to tell his mum and dad he was gay, that the spectre of Aids stopped him sleeping with women, and why he never fancied his straight Wham! bandmate, Andrew Ridgeley.

George was 29 when he came out to his parents. Yet his mother Lesley's fears that her only son might have inherited a "gay gene" overshadowed his childhood in North London.

Her brother Colin - who was suspected of being homosexual - had committed suicide.

"My mother had this fear of me being gay," explains George. "She had this definite fear that I was going to be like her brother - she thought that it meant I wouldn't cope with life.

"She almost felt like she had brought this gene. So there were very pointed areas where she let my dad be - supposedly protectively - homophobic.

"There was this gay waiter who lived above our family restaurant and I wasn't allowed to go to the top flat when he was in the restaurant. You know, in case I caught something. In case I caught gay.

"Knowing my father, he couldn't even consider he had a gay son because he is of his generation, a Greek Cypriot man. But my mother was afraid of my father's judgment of me. I also now realise she was afraid that if the 'gene' was in me it would turn out the same way for me as it had for Colin."

George pays tribute to his dead uncle in the track My Mother Had A Brother, on his latest album.

He adds: "My mother didn't talk about her brother until I was 16. I don't know if that was a decision on her part or whether she just plucked up the courage.

"It changed my opinion of her entirely because it wasn't just that - she's also seen her own father die the same way. They'd both put their heads in the gas oven. And, lucky old Mum, she found both of them.

"She spent years being so remorseful that it's impossible to hold that time against her. And in the last 20 years of her life, I don't think we had a cross word actually."

In his interview with Gay Times magazine, George explains that he only came out of the closet to his parents after the death of his first love, Brazilian dress designer Anselmo Feleppa.

They met at the Rock In Rio festival in 1991 - six months later Anselmo had an HIV test which proved positive. He died of an Aids-related brain haemorrhage in 1993.

George has said of that time: "I sat at the table not knowing if this man I was in love with was terminally ill and not knowing whether I was terminally ill. It was possibly the loneliest time of my life."

He was so traumatised by his loss that he no longer feared his parents' reaction to his homosexuality and finally admitted all in a letter.

"I wrote them a four-page letter which was the easiest thing I've ever written considering it was the only unresolved issue - to come out to my parents," says George.

"My mum said it was the most beautiful letter she had ever read, that it explained completely how I felt and why she didn't have to worry about me. It was the easiest thing that should have been the most difficult.

"I should ask my dad to show it to me again."

During the early years in Wham! George had girlfriends. He dated actress Brooke Shields, model Pat Fernandes and makeup artist Kathy Jeung. But he also took male lovers.

Then, at the height of his fame, he became so terrified of Aids that his love life became, in his words, "rubbish".

"Basically, I had three girlfriends and all through that time I cruised as well," he admits. "It only really used to happen when I was beating myself up about something else.

"I played around with the idea that I was bisexual - mostly by getting drunk. But then the HIV thing happened and I couldn't sleep with a woman without telling her that I'd slept with a man.

"Obviously my attraction to women was not strong enough to make that conversation worth having. So I started not sleeping with them at all.

"I had an absolute rubbish level of sex through that whole terror, between 1985 and 1994 - with the exception of the sex I had when I was faithful to my first real partner, Anselmo."

Ironically, at school everyone had suspected Andrew Ridgeley of being gay, not George.

He recalls: "Andrew loved camp clothes. He'd go to school in cherry silk trousers and have three little Adam Ant braids.

Everyone spent their time going: 'Is he gay?' And I'd go: 'He's really not!'

"He was beautiful but not in a way that was going to attract me. He was too pretty, too feminine, too elegant. I can understand everyone thinking we were sleeping together - but he loves women."

Then, when the two schoolpals found fame in Wham! pop pin-up George felt it would be disastrous for their career to admit his true sexuality.

"I lost my nerve," he says. "I wanted to come out but I didn't realise how successful we were going to be. I think that's understandable. I was nearly 20 and we were the biggest band in Europe, and within two years the biggest pop band in America.

"If your goal is to become the biggest-selling artist in America you're not going to make life difficult for yourself, are you?"

Yet that is exactly what he did. In April 1998 he was arrested and later convicted of trying to initiate sex in a public toilet with an undercover policeman.

It was the most shocking public outing imaginable - made worse by the fact that George had found the new love of his life, Kenny Goss. Sadly, the start of their relationship coincided with his mother's battle with cancer - she died the following year.

"I met Kenny three years after Anselmo passed away," says George. "I called my mother to tell her and she told me she had cancer and she'd had some of it taken out. She convinced me they'd got it all really early, which was bull**** as it turned out. I was on my knees again. Just a horrible thing."

George's life has certainly been an emotional rollercoaster and this week has been no different. But as he becomes the first artist to play at the new Wembley tomorrow - before taking his 25 Live tour around the UK - it is with the intention of beginning a new, calmer chapter in his life.

He plans to "work out who I am and where I am going". And he and Kenny want to make their relationship official, although he denies the rumours of an imminent ceremony.

"It's going to be our wedding," insists George. "It's not going to be Sonny and Cher.

"As long as I don't get myself into any more trouble - which, believe me, I'm not going to."

MORE revelations from George are in this month's Gay Times, out on June 20.