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Last Updated: Friday, 28 July 2006, 08:21 GMT 09:21 UK
Star to sue over 'cruising' claim
George Michael

George Michael has said he is to take legal action against a man who claimed he had a gay encounter with the singer.

Allegations of "cruising" on London's Hampstead Heath were printed in the News of the World, but Michael said he would not sue the paper or its owner.

He does plan to sue photographers for harassment, however, and denied calling off a civil ceremony with his partner.

But he admitted seeking "anonymous and no-strings sex" at what he described as "the best cruising ground in London".

Michael, 43, told BBC News 24: "I'm suing the individual involved who I have never, ever seen, let alone wanted to have any kind of sexual encounter with, and I'm currently investigating suing the secondary sources of libel."

I have done nothing this year against the law, I've done nothing to encourage talk about my sex life
George Michael

He claimed those sources had added to "Rupert Murdoch's story" by saying his long-term partner Kenny Goss had called off their civil partnership ceremony - but when he had received 1 million, he had reconsidered holding the event.

"These are things that are not really acceptable," Michael said.

However, he said he was not prepared to sue the News of the World or Mr Murdoch.

"I'm not talking about money, I'm talking about [whether] you want to be destroyed."

'Little bit strange'

He said he was taking legal action against the photographers "because they're harassing me and I should not have to worry about who's watching me at 2.30 in the morning".

He said he was "sick" of coverage of his private life.

A very large part of the male population, gay or straight, totally understands the idea of anonymous and no-strings sex
George Michael

"I have done nothing this year against the law, I've done nothing to encourage talk about my sex life.

"The question is not whether I bring it to the public, but it is why do I have to defend it in public because I don't want to talk about it at all."

Regarding his nocturnal activities in north London, he said: "I don't know anybody who actually goes to Hampstead Heath at two o'clock in the morning for anything other than the reason of playing about with another member of the human race.

"If they are there, then they are a little bit strange or they just don't know the local area."

He went on: "A very large part of the male population, gay or straight, totally understands the idea of anonymous and no-strings sex.

George Michael and Kenny Goss
Michael and Goss recently marked their 10th anniversary as a couple
"The fact that I choose to do that on a warm night in the best cruising ground in London - which happens to be about half a mile from my home - I don't think would be that shocking to that many gay people," he said.

"Until such time as the straight world is not attacking people for cruising, I'd say the gay world could actually keep that to themselves, just for a little bit longer."

Michael's problems with the law include being cautioned by police in March for possessing cannabis following his arrest in London's West End in February.

He had been found by police asleep at the wheel of his car.

In 1998 he was arrested in a public toilet in Los Angeles after attempting to solicit an undercover police officer.

His conviction for lewd conduct resulted in a $450 (270) fine and 80 hours of community service.


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