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Tuesday, November 24, 1998 Published at 10:10 GMT


George's bid to help Aids scheme over-ruled

George Michael: A committed Aids campaigner

Singer George Michael, who was ordered to do community service after exposing himself to a Beverly Hills policeman, says a judge has thrown out his request to work with Aids victims.

The BBC's Paul Welsh: Michael says the judge may have objected to his video
Michael, convicted of lewd conduct following his arrest in a park toilet, said he believed the judge was acting in retaliation for his comments about police entrapment and a cheeky pop video.

The star's new video pokes fun at the circumstances of his arrest by showing him dressed up as a US policeman dancing in a public lavatory.

Michael was due to begin his 80 hours of community service this week at Project Angel Food, which delivers 1,000 meals a day to people with Aids.

[ image: Michael made it big in the 1980s as one half of Wham!]
Michael made it big in the 1980s as one half of Wham!
But Beverly Hills Municipal Court Judge Charles Rubin had a last minute change of mind and instead ordered the singer to work with a programme that encourages school children to do charity work.

Michael said: "I am fully aware that in all likelihood I have prompted Judge Rubin's change of heart by my own actions.

''I have talked openly about police entrapment and in my latest video made light of recent events.''

Michael: 'I'll work all the hours you want'

The Aids charity is close to the pop star's heart. He has been working with them for seven years and is their biggest donor.

Michael had already done one day's work there which would have counted towards his sentence.

He said the children's programme was a worthwhile cause, but added: ''I can't really see how it can possibly measure up to the needs of the sick and dying.''

The singer, who admitted he was gay after his arrest, has asked the judge to reconsider his request.

He says he is willing to do more than 80 hours if the judge lets him serve his sentence working for Angel Food.

Michael pleaded no contest to exposing himself to the plainclothes policeman in April in the men's room of Will Rogers Memorial Park in Beverly Hills.

In addition to ordering the singer to perform community service, the judge told him to undergo sexual counselling.

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