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DAD'S ABUSE MADE ME BLANK OUT 10 YEARS OF MY LIFE; Boy George's agony.

Byline: By LYNNE KELLEHER

BOY George has revealed how his abusive father controlled his childhood with fear.

The 45-year-old 1980s favourite also said he has blanked out the first 10 years of his life because the memories are too traumatic.

Speaking on the documentary programme Flesh And Blood, which will be shown on RTE1 tonight, the singer added his father Jerry O'Dowd was like a shark who would suddenly attack.

He said: "I don't remember anything from the age of 10 back.

"I think probably I wiped out all that stuff. I was telling somebody once that I'm terrified of sharks, I don't know why but I was.

"Somebody said it was to do with my father - the way that sharks circle you and then suddenly attack was what my father was like, because my dad controlled everybody through this kind of fear."

Boy George's mother Dinah has written a book Cry Salty Tears about the 40 years of torment she suffered at the hands of the man she loved.

Dinah was a single mother in the 1950s when she married Jerry in England but the family has its origins in Thurles, Co Tipperary.

George said he and his five siblings still remember the I torment Dinah was put through M on a daily basis.

He added: "One thing I do remember is my mum taking an overdose. I think it was myself and Kevin who spent about an hour dragging her about the bedroom and just freaking out."

But George, who is very close to his mother, said he doesn't have all bad memories of his father Jerry.

He said: "I always say the O'Dowds put the 'funk' in dysfunctional.

"It's a shame my dad never really knew what he had - never ever had a clue.

"Even with us kids, he never knew how much we cared about him. I knew a little bit about my dad hitting my mum when she was pregnant but my dad was obviously very emotionally immature.

"On the one hand he was a very charming, charismatic, intelligent guy and then in another way he was like one of my mum's sons.

"He was like another kid - unfortunately though, he was a very powerful kid."

Jerry divorced Dinah in '2001 after she uncovered details of an affair he was having.

He died two years later from a heart attack.

In the RTE show, the Culture Club icon also talks about his brother Gerald, a schizophrenic who was committed to a psychiatric hospital for the manslaughter of his wife Gillian in 1995.

George said his father's abuse had a lasting affect on his brother.

He added: "I remember when the thing happened with Gerald and I went to see a film and there was a line in it that said: Good people do bad, bad things. "I remember thinking, 'That's true you know'.

"And I think the experience Gerald had with my father was the opposite to me. "I did everything not to be like my father and Gerald jumped through hoops to please him - either way there was no joy.

"Because of my mother, Gerald is a very successful person now and it's a wonderful thing to see."

And Dinah, whose life is story of triumph over tragedy, said she's determined to live her life to the full.

She said: "I put up with a lot for over 40 years but I've got my voice and identity back.

"I know that life is for living and by Christ am I going to live it."

Flesh And Blood The Dinah O'Dowd story will be shown on RTE One at 10.15pm.

showbiz@irishmirror.ie

CAPTION(S):

BOND Boy George with his mum Dinah O'Dowd; TORMENTOR: Dad Jerry
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Mar 29, 2007
Words:622
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