Nov 27, 2008

Entertainment - Escort "sexed up" accusations: Boy George's lawyer

Mike Collett-White

LONDON (Reuters) - Boy George's lawyer said on Wednesday the man who has accused the British singer of tying him up and beating him with a chain last year "sexed up" his story to sell it to the press.

Lawyer Adrian Waterman told Snaresbrook Crown Court in east London that Norwegian male escort Audun Carlsen had lied about his meetings with the 47-year-old, best known for fronting the band Culture Club in the 1980s.

"You have lied to the police," he said. "You have tried to make this story more exciting. You have added details and you have sold your story to the press and you have every intention of doing so again."

Carlsen disagreed, saying: "Do you think I would put myself through all this for the sake of a few thousand pounds?"

During his cross-examination of the witness on the third day of the trial, Waterman suggested Carlsen had received injuries to his arm and neck from bondage gear worn during a photo shoot with Boy George, being tried under his real name George O'Dowd.

He produced several colored photographs taken on the night and showed them to the judge and jury. A short video clip was also shown.

Carlsen said the injuries were the result of his handcuffing and beating at the hands of O'Dowd, who sat impassively in the dock during Wednesday's hearing. O'Dowd denies one charge of false imprisonment.


Carlsen also told the court he believed O'Dowd had attacked him on their second meeting, in April 2007, because he had refused to have sex with him the first time they met in January.

"I think he couldn't handle the refusal of me not having sex with him," said Carlsen, who wore a dark jacket.

During the cocaine-fueled January meeting, which centered around a pornographic photo shoot for which Carlsen was paid, O'Dowd performed a sex act on him for a few seconds before he stopped him, Carlsen said earlier this week.

O'Dowd says he became angry because Carlsen had tampered with his computer and taken photographs from it to use on the website Gaydar without the singer's permission. He complained to Carlsen several times, the court has heard.

Waterman said Carlsen used the computer again during their second meeting months later.

"Do you think after all his accusations I would be so silly and go on his computer?" Carlsen countered.

After escaping O'Dowd's London residence by unscrewing the wall hook to which he says he was handcuffed, Carlsen ran into the street wearing his underwear and a T-shirt. He came across shopkeeper Diptesh Patel who invited him into his store.

"He seemed rather agitated," Patel told the jury. "He said 'Help me, help me, two guys have hurt me.'"

The police arrived soon after and Carlsen was taken to Shoreditch police station. Later that day they searched O'Dowd's flat and arrested him. The trial continues.

(Editing by Philippa Fletcher)


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