George Michael arrested over `lewd act'
Thursday 09 April 1998
The man arrested identified himself to police as Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou, also known as George Michael. He posted bail for $500 (pounds 300) and was released three hours after his arrest yesterday.
Michael, 34, was caught during a police sweep of the Will Rogers Park, which is across the road from the celebrated Beverly Hills Hotel. A "crime suppression unit" was monitoring the park along with several others, Beverly Hills officer Ed Kreins told a press conference.
He said an under cover officer "went into the rest room area and did observe Michael engaged in a lewd act. He was by himself. The officer observed the act and arrested Michael."
He refused to say whether the star exposed himself, but stated that "he was aware he was being observed. We believe that Michael knew there was another individual who has walked into the bathroom and was aware of his presence."
Michael was not the target of the operation which was launched after reports of "lewd acts" at parks used by families and children. The officer who arrested him did not immediately recognise the pop star, until he was booked at the Beverly Hills police station.
The case now goes to a district attorney, who will decide what charges to bring, though typically the penalty on a misdemeanour offence of this nature would be a fine of up to $1,000 (pounds 600).
There was no immediate comment yesterday from Michael's office in London.
Michael shot to stardom with Andrew Ridgeley in the duo Wham! with hits such as "Wake Me Up Before You Go" and "Freedom". After they split in 1986 his first solo album, Fate, sold more than 10 million copies. The single "I Want Your Sex" was banned by many American radio stations.
Though he has long be rumoured to be gay, and he publicly lamented the death of his close Brazilian friend, Anselmo Feleppa, Michael has never come "out of the closet".
He is scheduled to appear in court on 5 May.
In the news, page 3
John Lyttle, page 20
- 1 Venezuela Expo Tattoo 2015: Extreme body art from 'Vampire Woman' to 109mm earlobes
- 3 Ball pool for adults opens in London
- 4 Amal Clooney gives excellent response to fashion question at European Court of Human Rights
Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
Putin opponent reveals Russian President's daughter's secret identity
Ball pool for adults opens in London
Gay couple buy JebBushForPresident.com web domain, and refuse to sell
16 Waitrose customers who could not cope with the end of free coffee
9 reasons Greece's experiment with the radical left is doomed to failure
Have we reached 'peak food'? Shortages loom as global production rates slow
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Liberal Democrat minister defends comments suggesting immigration causes pub closures
King Abdullah dead: We can't afford not to hold Saudi Arabia's royals to account
Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: Phase Co-ordinator for Foundation and Key S...
Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: SEN Teacher We have a fantastic special n...
Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: My client is an 11-18 all ability co-educat...
£100 - £150 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: Year 6 Teacher Birmingham Jan 2015...