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American and Girlfriend Get 4 Yrs. in Boy George Drug Case

March 06, 1987|From Reuters

LONDON — An American Vietnam veteran and his girlfriend were each sentenced to four years in prison today for supplying heroin to rock star Boy George.

Steven Luben, 36, and Diane Feiner, 35 and the mother of four, had denied supplying Boy George, whose real name is George O'Dowd, with the drug.

As he was led away after sentencing, Luben shouted, "You have sent two innocent people to prison!"

A third defendant, Anna-Katrina Tinmaung, 28, has pleaded guilty to two charges of supplying heroin to the singer. She will be sentenced next week.

Boy George, who made his name by dressing in heavy makeup and women's clothing, has been convicted of and fined for possession of drugs. A brother, Kevin O'Dowd, is due to appear in court in April on a charge of supplying him with cocaine.

The court heard that the singer had been transformed from an active performer into an addict who was an embarrassment to his friends.

One of his backup singers, Helen Terry, said, "George was getting worryingly ill, and I didn't want to see him die."

Prosecutor David Bate said that Boy George's wealth was such that he could afford to pay and that "Feiner and Luben fastened on him like leeches. What started as an occasional use became habit and turned into addiction, fed by Luben's supply."

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