An undercover police officer caught British pop artist George Michael “blatantly engaging” in a lewd act in a Beverly Hills park bathroom on Tuesday afternoon, authorities said.
Locals reported observing inappropriate conduct in the toilet at Will Rogers Park, which is located in one of Beverly Hills’ most affluent areas, to police. According to Lt. Edward T. Kreins of the Beverly Hills Police Department, a four-person undercover squad responded to the allegations and discovered Michael — alone in the restroom — indulging in an obscene conduct.
“It will get out,” Kreins said. “Someone will get this report eventually, someone will sell it, but [the information] will not come through us.”
In court, Michael later pled no contest to the accusation.
According to Kreins, the park does not have a reputation as a homosexual cruising site, contrary to Associated Press stories. In reality, according to Kreins, only two arrests for obscene conduct were made in 1997.
Michael didn’t confront the police and the two did not speak until the officer introduced himself, according to Kreins.
When questioned if he had any pseudonyms, the former Wham! singer — who gave police his birth name, Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou — offered his popular stage name and declared his employment as a singer and was detained and transported to the B.H.P.D. where he was incarcerated. After posting $500 bond, he was released at 8 p.m. Tuesday.
Michael must appear in court on May 5 at 8:30 a.m. in Beverly Hills for a sentencing hearing. He might face a fine and a one-year prison sentence at that time.
According to Kreins, Chief Marvin Iannone chose not to describe the conduct in which Michael was allegedly involved at the time of his detention. “Maybe another agency would release that, but we didn’t think giving the details about it was appropriate,” Kreins said. “We tried to go out of our way to make sure we didn’t cause unnecessary rumors about the incident by stating that he was alone, but to still respect his privacy.”
Following his conviction, Michael spoke openly and extensively about the incident and his sexuality on television and in the press. He gained a lot of respect for his candor and wit, and the incident didn’t seem to have harmed his career in the long run.
Michael’s publicist, Connie Filippello Publicity, declined to comment.