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Monday, 18 March, 2002, 17:06 GMT
Michael: My arrest was deliberate
George Michael
George Michael has conceded chart defeat
Pop singer George Michael has said he thinks he got himself deliberately arrested for lewd conduct in 1998 to try to refocus his life after a string of tragedies.

The star spoke openly about his arrest for lewd conduct in a Los Angeles public toilet in an interview with BBC Radio 1's Jo Whiley.

Michael - who releases his new single Freeek! on Monday - told Whiley that in the run-up to his arrest he had been grieving over the deaths of his mother and former partner, Anselmo Feleppa.

The singer also spoke candidly about his partner Kenny Goss and Pop Idols Will Young and Gareth Gates.

Michael's arrest led to him being publicly outed as gay after years of mystery surrounding his sexuality.

Public toilet in LA
He was caught soliciting in this public toilet in LA
He said that, in retrospect, he may have put himself in a situation where he would be caught to "make my life about me".

He said: "And for six months it worked. I had to fight, I had to make the video, I had to make the single (Outside), I had to finish the greatest hits, I did the Parkinson interview.

"Actually, in reality, when you saw me on the Parkinson interview I was doing well. But very soon after that I sank again," he added.

He returned to grieving for his beloved mother and did so for four years in total, he said.

Michael Parkinson and George Michael
George Michael: Spoke about his arrest on the Parkinson show
He said he was "very impatient" with himself and thought "I should be through it".

"I couldn't understand why my writing wasn't coming together was very tough on myself but actually I think that was what it was about, making my life about me and for that moment in time it worked," he added.

The 38-year-old confirmed he still had a "fantastic relationship" with his partner Kenny Goss.

And Michael was full of praise for Pop Idol winner Will Young's decision to tell the world he was gay.

"Was I surprised? I don't want to be insulting, but about as surprised as people were with me probably - and they'd had 18 years to work on it." he said.


"I'm very impressed that he did it. I think for a start it was fairly obvious that he might have been gay. I think it's very encouraging that the general public gave him the nod."

He has already written off his chances of beating Pop Idol runner-up Gareth Gates' Unchained Melody to the number one spot.

But he has conceded gracefully, sending him a bottle of champagne and advising him to enjoy his career.

See also:

18 Oct 00 | Entertainment
George Michael buys Lennon's piano
17 Feb 00 | Americas
George Michael video case dismissed
18 Sep 99 | Entertainment
George Michael 'faces second lawsuit'
22 Dec 98 | Entertainment
George ends community service
05 Dec 98 | Entertainment
Michael tells all about 'stupid moment'
17 Apr 98 | Americas
Michael charged with lewd conduct
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