Boy George 'handcuffed escort to side of his bed'

Former Culture Club singer goes on trial for false imprisonment

The former pop star Boy George handcuffed a terrified male escort to the side of his bed before returning with a box of sex toys, chains and leather straps, a court heard.

The model, who had been posing for erotic photographs at the singer's flat, had managed to escape into the street, wearing only his boxer shorts.

George O'Dowd – Boy George's real name – appeared at Snaresbrook Crown Court yesterday for the first day of his trial for false imprisonment, a portly, balding figure with grey hair and sporting sober clothing – only a tattoo across the back of his head and neck offered evidence of his flamboyant heyday as the lead singer of the Eighties band Culture Club.

Mr O'Dowd, 47, who denies the charge, listened impassively from the dock as Audun Carlsen, 29, gave evidence. The Norwegian escort who advertises his services on the Gaydar website said Mr O'Dowd had contacted him through the internet in January 2007 and had offered to pay him £400 to pose for photographs, which included erotic, naked shots. The agreement had not included sex but during a 12-hour stint at the singer's Shoreditch flat, Mr O'Dowd had "briefly" performed oral sex on him."I made it clear that's not why I was there and nothing more happened after that. He seemed OK about it," said Mr Carlsen.

Mr O'Dowd had agreed to let him upload some of the photographs on to his web profile, but then "went completely ballistic", accusing Mr Carlsen of tampering with his computer. "He was wild. We had taken some cocaine. If you take cocaine you can go wild."

Over the ensuing months, Mr Carlsen had received "bizarre" emails from Mr O'Dowd that accused him of interfering with his computer, but Mr O'Dowd had then apologised and invited Mr Carlsen back to his flat, saying he wanted to see his "heavenly butt".

Just before midnight on 27 April 2007, Mr Carlsen had returned for another erotic photo session. The next morning, Mr O'Dowd had left the flat, returning with a stranger. The prosecution said the stranger was a "heavy", who the singer has refused to identify.

His voice shaking, Mr Carlsen told the court how the two men tackled him when he walked into the bedroom.

"This other man was holding me down while George was hitting me ... He was screaming 'F***ing whore, now you are going to get what you deserve'. I don't remember every detail. I was in such shock." His right wrist had been handcuffed to a hook by the bed and Mr O'Dowd had ordered the other man to leave.

"He came back to the bed, punched me. He was shouting, completely mad. I was just paralysed. I just wanted to get loose. I was screaming 'Why are you doing this to me?'. He was very angry. His face, I can't get it out of my head, it was mad. It was very wild."

The singer had then left the room and returned with sex toys and chains. "He said, 'now you f***ng c***, you are going to get it.'" Mr Carlsen had escaped and fled into the street where a shop worker called police. He denied it had been a sex game and said he would never agree to be chained up. Heather Norton, for the prosecution, told the jury Mr O'Dowd had admitted to handcuffing the escort without his consent, knowing he was scared, but in an interview with police had denied assaulting him. The trial continues.

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