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Gay George Michael relives 'undignified' lavatory arrest.

George Michael has admitted that he suffered a great loss of dignity because of his "stupid moment" in a Los Angeles park last April. The singer gives an open and frank account of the events to Michael Parkinson in his first British television interview since he was arrested. He tells the TV host he is grateful for the public support he received in the wake of his arrest for lewd conduct by undercover officers in the park's public toilets. "I've had a really tough decade. I've lost a partner, I've lost my mother. I've lost my dignity. "The one thing I hold on to is my relationship with the public." The ex-Wham star tells Parkinson that the deaths of his first live-in partner Anselmo Feleppa and his mother had helped him deal with what happened in Los Angeles. "Within a day and a half I saw the funny side of it," he said. The singer also reveals he had been drinking before the incident and admits he took a stupid risk. He said: "There was no-one in the vicinity, but two undercover cops and a slightly drunk randy pop star. I was not subjecting the public to full frontal nudity." Asked why he took such a risk, Michael answers: "Ultimately you don't see it as a massive risk if there is no-one else around, and if there's someone standing there waving their genitals around in front of you, you don't think they're an officer of law. "It's not your first presumption. I fell for the trick. It was very well done." He also reveals he suspects that he was set up. "I think it's fairly likely that there was a little more collaboration between the paparazzi and police than is necessary or legal." And the star denies the suggestion that he had begged to be arrested so that he could come out publicly. "Believe me, I'd rather have run up and down Oxford Street naked saying 'I'm gay, I'm gay', than have it happen the way it did." Michael performs his current hit single, Outside, on the show, which will be screened on BBC1 tonight at 9.25pm. He tells his host how he took the opportunity to "have a go" at the policeman who arrested him in the video for the song, by naming one of the fictional policemen after the real arresting officer. Other stars to appear in the new series of Parkinson, which starts on January 8, include ex-Spice Girl Geri Halliwell.
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Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Dec 5, 1998
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