Boy George: Man who singer once ‘chained’ to a wall criticises ITV for I’m a Celebrity inclusion

Culture Club star was jailed for the incident in 2007

Jacob Stolworthy
Tuesday 08 November 2022 21:28 GMT
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A man who was “chained” to a wall by Boy George has criticised ITV for signing him up to I’m a Celebrity.

In 2007, Audun Carlsen was detained by the Culture Club singer in an ordeal that led to the singer being jailed.

Carlsen, 41, has said that it’s “hurtful that ITV” have “given him the platform” following reports the singer had become the highest-paid contestant in the reality series history.

It’s been reported that Boy George, 61, has been paid £500,000 to take part.

Carlsen, who was 26 at the time, told The Mirror: “I think giving him this sort of platform and a record fee sends the wrong message to survivors of violence and abuse and is plain wrong. Had I been a woman and he did what he did, he would never have been given the platform.”

At the time, Boy George, whose real name is George O’Dowd, pleaded not guilty to false imprisonment.

However, the singer was convicted of assault and false imprisonment, and went to prison for 15 months.

Reflecting on his actions during an episode of Pier’s Morgan’s Life Stories in 2017, he said: “I sent myself to prison. I told police why I did what I did. I was having a psychotic episode. I was a drug addict so I can’t say my reasons for doing it were founded in any way. But I told the truth. I have always denied beating the guy.”

He previously claimed in court that he handcuffed Carlsen as he had allegedly stolen pictures from his laptop, and wanted to trace the missing items.

Carlsen, who said he was left “s*** scared” after being handcuffed to the singer’s wall “for about half an hour”, added that he will not be watching the series despite “loving” it.

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Boy George on ‘I’m a Celebrity’
Boy George on ‘I’m a Celebrity’ (ITV)

“I might watch him doing a Bushtucker Trial, but I won’t vote for him. I won’t participate. Being in there is too easy for him. When it gets scary he can say ‘I’m a celebrity... get me out of here.’ I couldn’t do that when I was chained to his wall.”

Carlsen claims that the singer has never apologised to him personally for the incident.

ITV told The Independent in response: “This is a historic, spent conviction dating back 12 years and Boy George has appeared on major TV networks globally on numerous occasions over the last decade, including as a coach for The Voice UK on the BBC and The Voice Australia.”

Boy George’s representatives told The Independent: “George went to jail for four months willingly after openly confessing to false imprisonment during a psychotic break 15 years ago whilst in the midst of a well documented drug problem.

“Not only has he been a pillar of society ever since, but he also remains sober to this day. He apologised publicly on Piers Morgan’s Life Stories four years ago and we are very proud of him for his rehabilitation. Everyone is entitled to a second chance and George has certainly earned it. ‘

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