British pop star George Michael has pleaded no contest to engaging
in a lewd act last month in a Beverly Hills park restroom.
Michael, 34, was not in court on Thursday when Judge Charles
Rubin sentenced him to pay a $810 fine and perform 80 hours of
community service. Michael’s attorney, Ira Reiner, entered the
no-contest plea at Beverly Hills Municipal Court during the
arraignment, which was scheduled shortly after the singer’s April 7
Judge Rubin also ordered Michael to undergo counseling and
banned him from entering Will Rogers Park, where an undercover
police officer allegedly witnessed him engaging in a lewd act by
himself. Michael was arrested immediately and taken to the Beverly
Hills police department where he was booked under his birth name,
Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou, and released after posting a $500
Michael was charged with a single misdemeanor count of lewd
conduct, which can carry a maximum sentence of six months in jail
and a $1,000 fine.
Just days after his arrest, Michael announced during a CNN
interview that he is gay. “I feel stupid and I feel reckless and
weak for having allowed my sexuality to be exposed this way, but I
don’t feel any shame whatsoever,” he told reporter Jim Moret on
Friday, April 10.
A high school drop-out at age 17, Michael achieved superstardom
just one year later as half of the pop duo Wham!, which topped the
charts in the ’80s with the singles “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go”
and “Careless Whisper.” Michael parted ways with collaborator
Andrew Ridgeley in 1986, and released the platinum album
Faith one year later.