Prompted by the ridiculous, homophobic stories in the press on Sunday, and especially today about Kenny, singer George Michael phoned in today to the Richard and Judy show on Channel 4 in the UK, to set the record straight. If you don’t want to read all the words below, the bottom line is: he didn’t encounter this man on Hampstead Heath; the wedding isn’t off; it would be too difficult to sue the papers for libel over this – however he may try to get the two photographers who’ve been following him around on harassment charges; and there’s one more UK date on the tour to be announced around Christmas.
Oh yes, and his tenth anniversary present to Kenny cost him a million pounds. He wouldn’t say what it is – but sounds like it’s a painting to me. Lucky Kenny!
Tomorrow, the press will no doubt be full of rubbish about what George did, and did not say. Herewith then, a true and accurate transcript of everything he *did* say – the tone of everything he said was humourous; not a hint of being troubled! If any quotes tomorrow aren’t featured here, you can be sure George didn’t say it. And if they try to hint about him being anything other than on top of things, they’re lying.
Richard: Let’s get the Hampstead Heath things out of the way first.
George: The truth is, the News Of The World knows I’ve got no issue with cruising, I’ve talked about it many times. So they have to make me look like the gay Wayne Rooney! (Rooney is a young soccer player, famous for being caught on CCTV having sex with a 70-year old prostitute) Much as I don’t want be ageist or fattist, it’s dark up there, but it’s not *that* dark! *laughing* I’ve no idea who that guy was, but – thank you very much, whoever he was!
That whole thing, I could kinda bear that. But you know today’s stuff is The Daily Mail and The Evening Standard taking a lie, and adding another lie and making a straight soap opera, where the wife is furious with me, and the wedding’s off, which couldn’t be further from the truth. And I think that’s really unfair on Kenny and myself really.
Judy: Kenny’s fine?
George: Absolutely. It’s no more of an issue than I’ve ever said it was. It’s never an issue between us. Actually, in fact, we didn’t have our wedding because we knew at this point in time, with me just about to go on tour, with all the rubbish I’ve had to put up with the last six months, we knew we wouldn’t get a nice, private, small wedding; which is what I want. I didn’t want a big, lavish wedding. I wanted something small and quiet. But I don’t even think we’d get away with that. There’d be intrusion. So we postponed it on that basis, which is them, you know? And you know, we had a lovely tenth anniversary party. *laughing* My tenth anniversary present to him, cost me a million quid, so I reckon I should get away with more than supposedly fooling around with “Bernard Manning” (old, fat, unfunny British comedian).
Judy: What was it? The present.
George: I can’t tell you. But it cost me a million, so I reckon I should at least have to do something he *dislikes* before the wedding was off!
Richard: Do you think what we’re seeing here is a complete misunderstanding between, not even the straight culture, but the Fleet Street culture, and the culture that you were talking about even on the Heath to those guys from the News Of The World?
George: I don’t even think the people at Fleet Street think the words “shame” and “depravity” are real. There can’t be any shame in a situation unless the person is ashamed, and I’m certainly not that. I think it’s a very sad thing for young gay people that are growing up, that words like “depravity” are available to Rupert Murdoch when he wants to have a go at a gay person. I think that should change, I really genuinely do. But from my own point of view, I just don’t want people to think my life is troubled, when it’s not. And I think I should be able to be what I am to young gay people, which is a man that’s managed to succeed in the industry for twenty five years. You know, I’ve just had the fastest selling tour of perhaps all time in Britain. And I should be allowed to be that to young gay people – I have to be somehow troubled. And much in my case, I know there’s no point in resisting it, you know it’s just part of the game. As long as you’re releasing records, you have to accept that. But I think it’s deeply ethically wrong that young people can be exposed to that kind of that language.
Judy; Because you’re so incredibly famous, do you not feel a bit embarrassed to make so much of your sexuality? To put it in the public eye?
George: But do you think that I do? Do you really think that I do?
Judy: No, I don’t think you do. But that is the risk you’re running if you go on Hampstead Heath, isn’t it?
George: The one thing I can do about this, ‘cos I can’t do anything about these situations without dragging myself, and apparently with today’s story I’d have to drag Kenny through the courts to try to prove libel, which I’m just not prepared to do, given the circus they want. Apparently, the only recourse I have is to try and get harassment action taken against the two photographers that have literally been tailing me for months. And I really don’t think I should have to worry, when it’s generally quite a safe place. And I’m sorry if people don’t like that, but when they want to bank criticisms, certain words should not be available to them.
Richard: But in terms of you and Kenny…
George: It’s absolutely fantastic. I would imagine this rubbish will go on until the tour is over, at least. So I just want people to know, this really is a campaign. I think they’re trying to put me in the priory before I can get on stage *laughing*.
Judy: Well, I think it’s quite obvious from the sales of your tickets that you are enormously popular. There’s nothing they can do…
George: Thank God for me, that I have faith in the public, and I know that public opinion is not the same as the News Of The World and Rupert Murdoch. Thank you very much for giving me my soap box!! I know how useless it is. And I know tomorrow they’ll twist what I’m saying today, but sometimes you just have to, you know?
Richard; OK, you’ve spoken from the heart. When does the tour start?
George: The tour starts in September, and I’ll be here in December. There are going to be Christmas dates, and there’s one more to be announced. Please, please, please be there in the front row for me!