George Michael’s former boyfriend wasn’t "angry" when the singer was arrested for lewd conduct with an undercover policeman.
The late singer was famously arrested in 1998 over the incident in a Beverly Hills toilet and his then-partner Kenny Goss believes the ‘Careless Whisper’ hitmaker – who hadn’t gone public with his sexuality or romance with the art dealer at that point – wanted to "get caught" and had a "moment of madness".
Kenny – who was in a relationship with George from 1996 to 2011 – said: "I wasn’t angry. I didn’t say, ‘What were you doing, or who the f*** does something like that, or I’m leaving you.’ We moved on.
"I felt sorry for George. He felt dreadful, he was so apologetic and had people calling him all the time.
"I thought it was a moment of madness. He always said, ‘What was I doing? I was in front of the Beverly Hills Hotel.’
"He could have picked a lot of other places not so obvious. He often said that to me.
"I think he wanted to get caught. I don’t know if he liked the danger but it’s a hell of a dangerous thing to be doing.
"People still get their picture taken in front of the hotel because he got arrested there."
The 58-year-old Texan recalled how he got a call from George about his arrest, and initially assumed his partner had been picked up for driving under the influence (DUI).
He told The Sun newspaper: "One of the funniest things I remember is when he got arrested. We’d been for lunch and George had a bit to drink, maybe a bottle and a half of wine.
"I go on to do my own thing and he does his. Then I get this message from George saying, ‘Darling, please call this number.’
"So I called the number and they say ‘Beverly Hills Police,’ and I say ‘I’m looking for George Michael.’
"They bring him to the phone and I say ‘Darling, what happened? Did you get a DUI?’ He says ‘If only!’…
"George was going stir crazy. He walked down the hallway in the police station. It must have been the longest walk of shame in the world.
"I got him out and we were sitting in the car and he still wouldn’t tell me what happened. Then we finally got to the house and he told me."
And Kenny initially dismissed the incident as not "that big of a deal", but George – who died in December 2016 age 53 – wasn’t convinced.
Kenny recalled: "I said, ‘Oh Darling, I don’t think it is going to be that big of a deal, I think you will get away with it’.
"He said ‘I am not going to get away with this Kenny.’ The next morning there were helicopters above our house. I told him ‘I think you are probably right’."
The ‘One More Try’ hitmaker was subsequently fined and sentenced to community service, and openly discussed his sexuality and relationship with Kenny, so his former lover believes the incident was ultimately a "positive" thing.
He said: "It outed him and it outed me. He hadn’t told the public. What a way to do so. It turned into a positive thing though."
After the Beverly Hills arrest, George had a number of other brushes with the law for drug possession and driving while unfit through drugs, and Kenny admitted he was never "shocked" by the star’s antics.
He said: "You know, this sounds kind of callous but you become almost acclimatised to these things. There was not a lot of shock."