Rita Ora broke self-isolation rule by throwing birthday party after paid private gig in Egypt

Singer issues second apology as further details about her now-notorious London birthday party emerge

Roisin O'Connor
Sunday 06 December 2020 17:27
Piers Morgan and Lorraine Kelly criticise Rita Ora for lockdown birthday party

Rita Ora was supposed to be self-isolating when she broke lockdown rules to throw a birthday party, it has emerged.

The Mail on Sunday reports that Ora flew to Egypt in a private jet on 21 November to perform at the five-star W Hotel in Cairo, for which she was paid a six-figure sum.

She reportedly returned to England the next day and, as per government quarantine rules, was required to self-isolate for 14 days.

However, Ora instead attended her 30th birthday party at the Casa Cruz restaurant in west London’s Notting Hill, on 28 November.

At the time, gatherings of more than six people indoors were banned, while restaurants were closed apart from takeaways or drive-throughs.

The Mail on Sunday reports that Egyptian president, Abdel Fatah al-Sisi, was among those attending the Cairo event Ora had been booked for.

Ora has now issued a second apology, following the one she made for throwing the party in the first place, and said she plans to donate any profit from the concert to charity.

“I recently flew to Egypt to perform at a corporate event for a private company, where my travel party followed protocol and presented negative Covid tests upon entry, as required by Egyptian authorities,” she said.

Rita Ora attended her 30th party in west London when she should have been self-isolating

“Upon my return to Britain, I should have followed government advice and isolated myself for the required period. As you know, I didn’t follow government advice and … I apologise again, unreservedly.

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“While I realise the apologetic words of a pop star might not carry much weight, especially one who has broken the rules like I have, I do realise some might seek to follow my example.

“My message to them is simple: please don’t. The guilt and shame I’ve carried this week for my mistake aren’t worth it. Instead, continue to listen to the government advice and the voices of the heroes of the NHS and take the required precautions.”

She added she hoped “to one day make it up to the public who have given me so much support over the years and, in particular, make it up to the heroes of the NHS”.

After news of the birthday party emerged, Ora said she was “mortified” and “deeply sorry” for her actions. She also offered to pay a £10,000 fine – the maximum penalty for breaking lockdown restrictions against large gatherings.

However, MyLondon reported on Friday 4 December that a spokesperson for Kensington and Chelsea Council denied a fine had been paid.

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