Having been sentenced to 15 months custody for falsely imprisoning a Norwegian male escort, Auden Carlsen, by handcuffing him to a radiator, Boy George spent late December trying to return to incarceration, albeit voluntarily, as a contestant in the next Celebrity Big Brother series which begins on January 3rd. The 48 year old singer, real name is George O’Dowd, is currently on licence after serving four months of the custodial sentencing and then subsequently being released on an electronic tag. George was refused permission to enter the Big Brother House (for a reported £200,000 fee) by the London Probation Services, despite offers by the series producers to accommodate visits by probation officers. The Probation Service expressed worries that the move would undermine public confidence in the criminal justice system and sentencing, and may have a negative impact on his victim. In the High Court George’s lawyers pleaded that whilst he had behaved “appallingly”, the former Culture Club singer was desperate to take up Channel 4’s offer to appear in order to “rebuild his career and reputation’”. George’s lawyer Alison MacDonald said the decision to bar him was ‘disproportionate’. She said George had ‘managed to stop using drugs’, and added: ‘There is no dispute at all that this was a serious offence in terms of the impact on the victim. He was rightly punished with a sentence of imprisonment and he has never suggested that was not wholly deserved’ and “Successful rehabilitation for the claimant would be regaining his public profile”. But Mr Justice Bean disagreed and said that the Probation Service was within its rights to refuse the star permission to appear. He added that somebody who is out on licence had restrictions placed on their freedom as part of their punishment saying “I consider that right-thinking members of the public would take the view that an offender serving the non-custodial part of a sentence of imprisonment should not be allowed to take part in a high profile, controversial television production, promoting his status as a celebrity and with considerable financial gain”. Boy George said that he was not ‘overly upset’ saying that he was in two minds as to enter the BB House and that he accepted the High Court’s ruling adding that the decision had now been made for him and that perhaps the judge was a ‘good fairy’.
Boy George had previously been sentenced to community service in the USA in 2006 after falsely reporting a burglary. Other potential “BB” contestants are thought to include MC Hammer, Hollywood madam Heidi Fleiss and Pamela Anderson, currently in the UK appearing in pantomime.