.

George Michael Busted In Bathroom

April 9, 1998 12:00 AM ET

Pop singer George Michael was arrested in a Beverly Hills, Calif., park Tuesday evening for engaging in a lewd act and was charged with a misdemeanor.

Area residents complained to police about seeing lewd behavior in the bathroom at Will Rogers Park, which is located in one of Beverly Hills' most exclusive neighborhoods. A four-person undercover team responded to the complaints and found Michael -- alone in the bathroom -- engaging in a lewd act, Lt. Edward T. Kreins of the Beverly Hills Police Department told JAMTV. Kreins refused to elaborate on what sort of lewd behavior Michael was engaging in.

Just before 5 p.m. (PST) the former Wham! singer -- who gave police his birth name, Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou, and told them he was a singer -- was arrested and taken to the B.H.P.D. where he was jailed. He was released around 8 p.m. Tuesday after posting a $500 bail.

Contrary to Associated Press reports, Kreins said the park does not have a reputation as a homosexual cruising ground. In fact, only two arrests were made in 1997 for lewd conduct, Kreins said.

Michael must appear in a Beverly Hills court on May 5 at 8:30 a.m. for a sentencing hearing. At that time, he faces a possible fine and jail term up to one year.

Michael's London-based publicist, Connie Filippello Publicity, had no comment.

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Song Stories

“Money For Nothing”

Dire Straits | 1984

Mark Knopfler wrote this song with Sting, and it wasn’t without controversy. The Dire Straits frontman's original lyric used the word “faggot” to describe a singer who got their “money for nothing and their chicks for free.” Even though the slur was edited out in many versions, the band, and Knopfler, still took plenty of criticism for the term. “I got an objection from the editor of a gay newspaper in London--he actually said it was below the belt,” Knopfler told Rolling Stone. Still, "Money For Nothing," undoubtedly augmented by its innovative early computer-animated video, stayed at Number One for three weeks.

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