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Pop Singer George Michael Arrested in Restroom of Beverly Hills Park

Courts: Police say he was alone in Will Rogers Park facility, allegedly engaged in a lewd act.

April 09, 1998|SUE McALLISTER | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

George Michael, the English pop star whose hits include "I Want Your Sex" and "Faith," was arrested in Beverly Hills for allegedly engaging in a lewd act alone in a public restroom, police said Wednesday.

Michael, 34, was arrested by a plainclothes officer who "observed Mr. Michael engaged in a lewd act" shortly before 5 p.m. Tuesday, said Lt. Edward T. Kreins of the Beverly Hills Police Department.

Kreins would not elaborate on the nature of the activity, but said that Michael was alone in the restroom in an area visible to anyone walking into the restroom.

Michael posted $500 bail and was released at 8:05 p.m. Although the misdemeanor charge had not been filed as of Wednesday, Michael is scheduled to enter a plea in Beverly Hills Municipal Court on May 5, Kreins said.

He said officers from the Crime Suppression Unit were making a routine check of the restrooms at Will Rogers Memorial Park after having received complaints in the past few weeks about lewd conduct at the park. The recreational facility is across from the Beverly Hills Hotel, at Beverly Drive and Sunset Boulevard.

"It's not something you'd expect up there," Kreins said of the alleged lewd conduct in one of the city's most exclusive areas. "It's pretty much a park where you'd relax, read a book and get some wedding photos taken."

In 1997, Beverly Hills police made 21 arrests for soliciting or engaging in lewd conduct, only two of which were in Will Rogers Park.

At the time of his arrest, Michael gave an address that is about a mile from the park.

His publicist, Bryn Bridenthal of DreamWorks Records, said Michael lives in London most of the time. She had no comment on her client's arrest.

Michael, born Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou, entered the pop music limelight in the early 1980s as half of the band Wham!

After Wham! split up, his debut solo album, "Faith," won a 1988 Grammy for album of the year. He also gained notoriety for the provocative single "I Want Your Sex," which many U.S. radio stations refused to air. His most recent album, "Older," was released in 1996.

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