Boy George has claimed he was having a drug-induced "psychotic episode" when he kept a male escort prisoner at his flat in London in April 2007.
The Culture Club singer was sentenced to 15 months in prison – only four of which he served – in 2009 for false imprisonment after he handcuffed sex worker Audun Carlsen to a wall, whipped him with a metal chain and hurled abuse at him but, although he is ashamed of what he did, he’s blamed his behaviour on drugs.
Speaking on Britain’s talk show ‘Piers Morgan’s Life Stories’, which will air on ITV on Friday (02.17.17) night, Boy George said: "One thing people don’t know is that I was prosecuted on my own evidence. I sent myself to prison. I told the police why I did what I did. In hindsight, I was having a psychotic episode. I was a drug addict so I can’t sit here and say my reasons for doing it were founded in any way. But I told the truth. I said: ‘This is why I did it. I was having a paranoid episode.’"
George, 55, has always denied beating the man – who managed to free himself from the chains and ran out on to the street screaming for help – but has never apologised for keeping him prisoner because he doesn’t think it’ll make a difference.
He said: "I have always denied beating the guy. I don’t think it [apologising to the victim] would make any difference. I always felt like not talking about it was dignified. All of it was the drugs. There us no way on God’s earth this would happen if I had not been on drugs. I kind of took responsibility but in my way. It is in my nature to spill my guts. I never really tell lies and sometimes it has worked against me."
During his time in Pentonville Prison, George – who used his real name of George O’Dowd at the time – fell victim to a string of homophobic attacks.
He explained: "When I was in prison a lot of my friends blew me away. But Stephen Fry wrote to me, it was very humbling. I had a few altercations with other prisoners who were homophobic but it was not a shock. I was not scared. I made friends with people. I worked in the kitchen, which was great."
Prior to his prison sentence, the ‘Karma Chameleon’ hitmaker spent up to £400-a-day on heroin and thinks he was probably close to death but didn’t realise the danger he was in at the time because he was too high on the drug to focus on real life.
His family and friends begged him to get help and Sir Richard Branson even allowed him to use his mansion as rehab but George thinks it was prison that saved him.
He said: "The best thing that happened to me was getting sober. My friend told me to go with him to a meeting and I went and it was awful but then I thought: ‘This is where I need to be.’ By the grace of God I have stayed sober."