Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.


pounds 500 fine and community service for George Michael

GEORGE MICHAEL was fined $810 (about pounds 500) yesterday and ordered to perform 80 hours community service after the singer's lawyer entered a plea of no contest to a charge alleging he committed a lewd act in a Los Angeles park toilet. Michael did not appear at Beverly Hills Municipal Court.

Judge Charles Rubin banned Michael from Will Rogers State Park, where the singer was arrested last month. He also ordered Michael to undergo psychological counselling.

"The court is concerned he not get into this situation again," Mr Rubin said.

Michael, 34, was arrested on 7 April when an undercover police officer allegedly saw him commit a lewd act alone in a toilet at the park, which is across the street from the Beverly Hills Hotel on Sunset Boulevard.

He acknowledged later that he is gay and said he was embarrassed by the arrest.

He told CNN: "I won't even say it's the first time it's happened."