Oh Boy, George
In the wake of his drugs bust this summer, the troubled singer is back, spitting venom at his contemporaries
Sunday 15 October 2006
Boy George is bitter. After a troubled year culminating in a spell sweeping the streets of New York after a cocaine bust, the famously outspoken singer has returned to one of the things he does best: giving his contemporaries a taste of his acid tongue.
In an outspoken attack on fellow stars, he describes Madonna as "vile", Sir Elton John as a drama queen who appeals to "common-or-garden homosexuals", and Robbie Williams's music as "terrible". And those are some of his more polite descriptions in his expletive-strewn putdowns.
The singer also reveals that, despite his high profile and fortune, he is a regular user of gay prostitutes and tells how he lost himself in a blur of cocaine.
George, 45, has spent much of the past 12 months wrestling with personal issues after being arrested for cocaine possession. He was eventually ordered to serve five days' community service in August in a very public humiliation, which saw him hounded by TV crews, photographers and reporters as he swept gutters in Manhattan.
The singer and DJ has been in the public eye for a quarter of a century, first finding fame as the androgynous "gender bender" frontman for Culture Club, who affronted Middle England with his appearances on Top of the Pops in full make up, effeminate clothes and long, ribboned hair.
Now, in a new Channel 4 documentary, he has proved he has lost none of the power to shock by rounding on numerous celebrities. His choicest venom is reserved for Madonna.
In an extended rant, he splutters: "Madonna... I just think she's a vile, hideous, horrible human being with no redeeming qualities. There's nothing nice about her. I've never heard anyone say anything nice about her at all. And anyone that's ever met her she's been vile to. Vile, full of herself - so unspiritual. How has this woman got away with it for so long?"
As for Robbie Williams, he says: "He could use my help; the last album was terrible. He's at that point now where he's just throwing anything out - he needs another 'Angels' or something really classy. That new thing he's got out, it makes Ronan Keating look like a genius."
George let the cameras into his east London flat, which he has decorated with homoerotic artworks. His bed linen is decorated with the names of some of the people he has slept with, including his former long-term love Jon Moss, the drummer of Culture Club. His pillows also detail some of his sexual exploits.
"I like gay sex," he says. He also admits paying for sex and using the internet to trawl for partners. "Straight people have been doing it for years. Prostitution is the oldest, most respected profession. I don't think there's anything wrong with it."
During filming of The Madness of Boy George, to be screened on Tuesday, he is asked whether Sir Elton is a gay role model. "If you're a common-or-garden homosexual then maybe, but not if you're a fag like I am. I'm not an Elton John type of gay. I'm not vanilla" (into boring sex).
In the mid-1980s after his chart success started to slip, George turned to heroin like others in his social scene; he sunk back into drug use following the savaging of his stage show Taboo, when it went to Broadway, culminating in his bust last year. He had confusedly called police himself.
Although he calls his punishment "a media service day, not community service", he is upbeat about street sweeping. "I've enjoyed it, in a bizarre, perverse Boy George kind of way."
ON MADONNA: "I just think she's a vile, hideous, horrible human being with no redeeming qualities. There's nothing nice about her. I've never heard anyone say anything nice about her at all."
ON ROBBIE WILLIAMS: "He could use my help. The last album was terrible. He's at that point where he's just throwing anything out. He needs another 'Angels' or something really classy."
ON ANDREW LLOYD WEBBER: "[People] always go on about 'theatre is a dying art form and we must save it', and then we just put on another Andrew Lloyd Webber re-run. It's tragic."
ON ELTON JOHN (after a hotel lift failed on him): "Imagine if that was Elton John, the drama that would have ensued? David Furnish would be spitting feathers right now."
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