Boy George Sentenced to 15 Months in Prison

Boy George was found guilty of false imprisonment in December 2008, and was today sentenced to serve 15 months in jail. Tried under his real name - George O'Dowd - the former Culture Club singer will begin serving his sentence right away.

The incident leading up to the trial and now sentencing occurred in April 2007 at O'Dowd's east London flat, where he is said to have tied up, beaten, and falsely imprisoned a man he invited to the property. Audun Carlsen, 29, a male escort, told the court how he was tied to the singer's bed after being accused of obtaining private photos from his laptop. Carlsen claims that O'Dowd said, "Fucking whore! Now you're going to get what you deserve."

During the trial, O'Dowd, 47, chose not to present evidence and refused to speak publicly about the case. He mentioned the case just once, with a brief reference at his last gig at London's Pigalle club on December 17, when he said:

"I like to think you can say a lot by saying nothing. I'll just say this: none of us are defined by our mistakes."

Newspapers have quoted Boy George's brother David as stating that the reason he refused to give evidence at the trial was because he wanted to avoid upsetting his elderly mother.

Judge David Radford told O'Dowd as he handed down the sentence:

"Whilst I accept that Mr Carlsen's physical injuries were not serious or permanent, in my view there can be no doubt that your premeditated callous and humiliating handcuffing and detention of Mr Carlsen shocked, degraded and traumatised him.

"He was deprived of his liberty and human dignity without warning or proper explanation to him of its purpose, length or purported justification."

In addition to the 15 month jail term, the singer was also ordered to pay £5,000 costs.

O'Dowd and Carlsen first met through a gay social networking site, and met up in person for a pornographic shoot.