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Last Updated: Saturday, 8 October 2005, 09:46 GMT 10:46 UK
Boy George on US cocaine charge
Boy George
Police attended Boy George's home following reports of a burglary
Musician Boy George has appeared in court charged with possessing cocaine after being arrested in New York.

The 44-year-old performer was detained at about 0300 (0700 GMT) on Friday by police responding to a report of a burglary at his luxury Manhattan home.

A spokeswoman for the Manhattan District Attorney's office said he was released after being charged with possession of a controlled substance.

It is alleged he had more than an eighth of an ounce (3.5g) of cocaine.

The charge carries a maximum penalty of up to five and a half years in prison. He is scheduled to return to court on 19 December.

His former agent Tony Denton said after speaking to Boy George's sister, Siobhan that the star denied the drug was his.

'Not taking'

Mr Denton said: "Basically, he did call the police himself. He actually thought somebody was breaking into the apartment.

"They turned up and they searched the apartment and found traces of cocaine on the computer table, which George has said he was not taking and was nothing to do with him."

A New York Police Department spokesman said the singer was charged with possessing cocaine and falsely reporting an incident.

The spokesman said police had responded to an emergency call made by Boy George.

"The call was about a possible burglary," he said. The star - real name George O'Dowd - rose to fame in 80s band Culture Club.

He also suffered from a well-publicised heroin addiction during that decade.

During the 90s, he established a successful career as a club DJ.

He moved to the US around the time his musical Taboo transferred to Broadway in 2003, but it received mainly negative reviews and closed after less than three months.

See archive footage of Boy George performing

Boy George in the spotlight
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