Musician takes Boy George to court over gay allegation

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Boy George, the former star of the pop group Culture Club, became "obsessed" with a male musician and tried to "out" him as a homosexual after inventing a relationship between the two men, the High Court was told yesterday.

Kirk Brandon, best remembered for his time with the "Goth-rock" groups Spear of Destiny and Theatre of Hate, is suing George, now a highly successful DJ, for malicious falsehood.

The legal action relates to claims of a relationship between the two men in George's1995 autobiography Take It Like A Man and a CD called Cheapness and Beauty, which contains a song about Brandon, titled "Unfinished Business".

Boy George states in his book: "Sleeping with Kirk wasn't sex, it was absolute love." But Brandon told the court that George developed a crush on him, and that it eventually became an obsession. He said he was not gay, never had an affair with George, and that the claims affected his wife and daughter and caused problems for a business associate at an important stage in his career.

Boy George, who was in court yesterday for the start of the hearing, which is expected to last for 10 days, is contesting the action and says he had sex with Brandon regularly while they were staying in squats in London.

"Unbeknown to me, in the midst of his wealth, his obsession for me turned into something bitter, some might call it evil, a grudge," said Brandon. He claimed Goerge's attempt to "out" him was just part of a "sickening and totally reprehensible marketing strategy".

At the peak of his career Brandon had a gold album and supported the rock group U2 in concert at Wembley Stadium. The years since then have not been so kind: he was declared bankrupt and his house was repossessed nearly three years ago. He was making a comeback with a tour and a proposed US record deal when the allegations of his homosexual affair surfaced."All of a sudden people don't call you back," he said.

Simon Reeve