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Jan 1999 - George Michael Interview in the Advocate

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PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2007 1:07 am    Post subject: Jan 1999 - George Michael Interview in the Advocate Reply with quote

In his first-ever exclusive interview with the gay press, one of pop music's most elusive artists tells all at last

The perfect introduction to this stubbornly candid interview with George Michael took place in Venice, Calif., a week before the actual conversation that follows. The 35-year-old music superstar was in the midst of filming his "Outside" video, using a public bathroom in the sandy beach town to fill in for the Beverly Hills park bathroom he's been forbidden to go near since his April 7 arrest for lewd conduct.

Michael, born Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou in north London, wore a baseball cap and buried his head in a video monitor while actors dressed as police dragged a struggling man out of the public toilet and into a van. Shading his eyes from the afternoon sun, Michael glanced up at the interviewer, recognized her from a 1986 interview they'd done right after his professional breakup with Wham! collaborator Andrew Ridgeley--and smiled, relieved.

"Sit with me and watch as I record the joys of outdoor public sex," he said with sarcasm. "But don't look over there!" He pointed to a lone photographer who had somehow slipped onto the set. A bodyguard shielded the star with a makeshift curtain. Soon clicking could be heard from a nearby parked car. Two paparazzi shouted to each other in Italian. Michael's manager rushed at them. A helicopter began to circle the area. Someone pointed to the top of a nearby condo. The roof was swarming with men aiming long-distance lenses at the pop star.

"Oh, screw it," Michael groaned. Let me just wrap up this scene. It kinda fits with what we're filming."

How did foreign photographers know Michael was filming a video in Los Angeles? Why, since the 1993 AIDS death of his first true love, Brazilian designer Anselmo Feleppa, has his homosexuality been belittled in British papers? Where do the tabloids always manage to find pictures of Michael's current boyfriend, Kenny Goss? Why, after a career-long battle to keep his personal life away from the press, is George Michael sitting down with The Advocate and doing what he swore he'd never do?

"People are still telling me to be careful," he sighed. "But at the end of the day, all I can do is be honest. I've reached a very good point of self-acceptance. I don't have any shame about my sexuality. I don't think people are going to desert me because they know more about me--"

Frantic voices drowned out the rest of his sentence as a van drove up to rescue Michael from the multiplying paparazzi. He leaned out and yelled above the din, "Come to my house on Saturday. I'm ready to do this."

And he was. The following interview took place in Michael's Los Angeles home on October 10, 1998.

Obviously your first single and video, "Outside" [from Ladies & Gentlemen ... The Best of George Michael], deals with your arrest. Can you talk more about what went on in that Beverly Hills bathroom?

In the video I introduce the same situation that I was in but with a straight guy in a bathroom. A beautiful young girl comes in--the whole thing about police entrapment is that they don't send in someone you wouldn't even look at twice--so we send in a beautiful young girl. And the guy realizes she's available and kisses her. She changes into a cop--an older, real mean, tough cop. Which makes you think, That's so unfair. That's ridiculous. She came on to him.

Why should people see it differently if it's a guy, if it's male-male sex? So I try to actually make straight people think about that. I try to make them see the basic unfairness of police entrapment.

Actually, we don't know what happened. What got you arrested?

That's exactly what happened. I think it'll be almost patronizing to most gay men to tell what happened. So many of them know exactly what happened.

At first we heard you were alone in the bathroom. Why were all the reports wrong?.

Well, let's say it's fairly likely that there was some cooperation between the police and the paparazzi. I literally got arrested, called my boyfriend--bless his soul--to come pick me up. We went to dinner, and I said, "Darling, the lot will be there by the time we get home." And I was half right. At about 4 in the morning, they were at the house, and by 5 o'clock there were helicopters.

What do you mean by "cooperation between the police and paparazzi?"

There was interaction between the L.A. police and the paparazzi in London. I think the cooperation was between someone who sent the police there as soon as I got to that park because the police station was at the end of the road, literally 600 yards away. And I think the reason that the reports changed so much was because the police were freaked out that it was me they'd arrested. The Beverly Hills police don't want to be seen to be arresting celebrities.

Are you saying the paparazzi tipped off the police?

The person that directed the police there knew, and someone made a lot of money. When other bits of information started coming in and I found out that pictures had been floating around since last year because the guy hadn't been able to sell them--
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PostPosted: Mon May 25, 2009 8:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice interview. -- Circuit breakers and more
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 20, 2011 10:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

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Joined: 04 May 2020
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PostPosted: Tue May 05, 2020 2:20 am    Post subject: Essay writing tips Reply with quote

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