Singer George Michael yesterday admitted possessing class C drugs and said that his arrest at the weekend was his "own stupid fault, as usual" .
The former lead singer of Eighties pop group Wham! was found slumped at the wheel of his car at Hyde Park Corner in London in the early hours of Sunday morning. Officers arrested him on suspicion of possessing class C drugs before bailing him to return to a police station next month. An ambulance was sent to the scene, but the 42-year-old was not taken to hospital.
While Michael's single and video, "Outside", mocked his arrest, in 1998, for lewd conduct in a public toilet in Los Angeles after being spotted by an undercover police officer, he promised yesterday: "I won't make a record out of this one even though it is tempting."
The singer, who has sold more than 85m records worldwide, said yesterday: "I was in possession of class C drugs which is an offence and I have no complaints about the police who were professional throughout."
He added: "I have been through enough in 24 years of dealing with the media to know what I am in for from them this week. Much of it will be inaccurate or simply untrue. I can handle that, it is my own stupid fault, as usual."
But he wants the public to know that he was not impaired and was in a fit state to drive. In a statement yesterday, he said: "The only thing I care about is that people know that I was properly tested by the police doctor on Saturday night, who stated to the officers present that I was not impaired in any way and should be allowed to drive home. In fact, the only reason I didn't drive home was that the police accidentally immobilised my car when they parked it."
He added: "The duty solicitor very kindly gave me a lift home."
A Metropolitan police spokesman said of the singer's arrest: "We were called by a member of the public to a man seen slumped over the steering wheel of a car on the street close to Hyde Park Corner. A search of the man revealed what was believed to be controlled substances."
According to a witness quoted in The Sun, the singer, who has previously admitted being a heavy cannabis smoker, was found: "Out of it ... He was virtually unconscious." The newspaper alleges that Michael was found in a similar state in October last year in Primrose Hill in north London.
Michael announced last year, before his performance at the charity concert Live 8, that a documentary about his life was the beginning of his retirement.
Launching the documentary at the Berlin Film Festival this time last year, he said: "I'm still going to be making music," but added that he was "not going to be around" as his life would become more of a "behind the scenes" affair.