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Saturday, 11 April, 1998, 08:52 GMT 09:52 UK
'I was stupid and reckless' admits George Michael
George Michael
George Michael's sexuality has been an open secret in the music industry for several years
In his first interview since his arrest by police in Los Angeles, British pop star George Michael has described himself as "stupid and reckless".

Michael was apprehended by undercover police officers on Tuesday after complaints from residents about lewd acts being performed in public toilets in a Beverly Hills park.

The former Wham! singer said he was not ashamed about his homosexuality but was annoyed at himself for getting into such a predicament.

Michael, 34, said: "I want people to know I haven't been exposed as a gay man. I don't feel any shame.

"I feel stupid and reckless and weak for having allowed my sexuality to be exposed this way."

'I will survive'

The singer, who is reputedly worth 70m ($115m), said he wanted his fans to know he had not been affected by it.

"I just want to tell my fans who, apart from embarrassing myself, I have to some degree embarrassed, that I'm okay.

"I know a lot of them realise I have had a very tough time over the last five or six years and I want to let them know that this is not going to finish me off.

"It is really nothing compared to the bereavements I've had to deal with, even compared to some of the legal situations I've had to deal with."

The singer, who has been released on 300 ($500) bail, was referring to his failed lawsuit against Sony Music who he claimed had turned him into a "pop slave".

He refused to go into specific details but said: "I put myself in an extremely stupid position, I won't deny that. I won't even say it was the first time it ever happened. I can only apologise."

Michael, a double Grammy award winner, said he had intentionally kept his sexuality vague because he felt it enabled him to communicate better with his male and female fans.

He said his last sexual relationship with a woman was 10 years ago and his first homosexual relationship was at the age of 27.

Michael, whose Brazilian lover Anselmo Felippa died five years ago, said: "I have no problem with people knowing I'm in a relationship with a man."

He said the songs he wrote in the first half of his career were about women but his more recent works had been "fairly obviously about men."

Michael, who was charged under his real name Georgios Panayiotou, is due to appear before Beverly Hills Municipal Court on May 5.

See also:

09 Apr 98 | World
George Michael goes to ground
09 Apr 98 | UK
The rise of a pop genius
09 Apr 98 | Americas
You got to have faith
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