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Last Updated: Friday, 18 August 2006, 22:18 GMT 23:18 UK
Boy George finishes sweeping up
George O'Dowd surrounded by journalists
Mr O'Dowd carried out his cleaning duties under intense media scrutiny
Pop icon Boy George has "responded extremely well" to sweeping the streets of New York as a punishment for wasting police time, according to his manager.

The 80s singer, real name George O'Dowd, was handed a $1,000 (540) fine and a community service order after admitting wasting police time.

He has spent the last five days sweeping streets in New York under an intense media spotlight.

Jeremy Pearce said: "It was hard work but he seemed to almost enjoy it."

Mr O'Dowd's problems began in October when he called police to his Little Italy apartment to report a burglary and ended up being arrested when officers found a small amount of cocaine there.

He later admitted the false reporting of an incident under a plea bargain, which saw a cocaine possession charge dropped in favour of the community service order.

He was also ordered to go on a drug rehab programme.

Media scrutiny

On the first day of his community service this week Mr O'Dowd lost his temper when he was mobbed by media.

He had to be taken back to the sanitation department depot to work behind the safety of a wire fence.

But since then, according to Mr Pearce, he has been in the streets of Chinatown picking up litter for eight hours a day.

"It's been great actually," Mr Pearce said. "It's been really quite positive. I think George has responded extremely well.

"He just kind of took to it. He did it very conscientiously.

"He liked the people he was working with, both those who were doing community service and the people who ran the Sanitation Department, who were very fair.

"It was hard work but he seemed to almost enjoy it. He put his back into it and did a good job.

"I think people were quite surprised. I think they thought he was going to be a diva."

'Down to earth'

Mr Pearce said the former Culture Club frontman, who finished his five-day stint on Friday, had made friends with his fellow workers, and might keep in touch with some of them.

"I think they liked him because he was so down to earth," he said.

A Sanitation Department spokeswoman said O'Dowd had done "very well".

"He came in on time, he was very co-operative and he did what he had to do," said spokeswoman Kathy Dawkins.

"I'm told that he made the best of the situation and he did his work."

Mr O'Dowd, whose hands became blistered during the week as a result of his dedicated sweeping, wore a luminous orange regulation issue jacket, special gloves and wraparound shades as he pounded the streets.

The end of his community service marks the end of a saga which has gone on for months.

At one point a judge blasted the star for suggesting he should fulfil the sentence by holding a fashion and make-up workshop or work as a DJ to raise money for Aids charities.

Boy George sweeping the street

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