I’m A Celeb star Boy George looks barely recognisable in an unearthed photo taken shortly after he was released from jail 13 years ago.
The Culture Club icon, 61, was sentenced to 15 months back in 2009 but was released after four due to good behaviour and placed on house arrest for six months.
Boy George, real name. George O’Dowd was found to have handcuffed Norwegian model and male escort Audun Carlsen to a wall in January 2007.
Throwback! I’m A Celeb’s Boy George looks unrecognisable in unearthed snap taken after his 2009 jail stint while remaining under house arrest with friend Vicki McKellar (right)
He claimed he was high on cocaine and having a psychotic episode and is now clean and sober.
On the night the photo was taken, the singer was sporting a bald head and no beard and was without one of his trademark hats or his flamboyant make-up.
He’s since had a hair transplant after being inspired by Wayne Rooney.
The new image was shared by Vicki McKellar, who was George’s pen-pal while he was in prison and showed wearing a sparkly ‘666’ T-shirt during a party to celebrate his release.
Vicki said: ‘He was wearing a devilish 666 T-shirt to make light of his prison ordeal.’
‘George had said his May 11 release date was a time for celebration so he hosted a soiree at his house in Hampstead, North London, which is now listed for sale.
Made-up: George as he usually looks, with his dramatic eye shadow and trademark hat
‘George’s 48th birthday was just around the corner and he invited me along with his friends and family.
‘I stood buttering bread for the guests when he wandered over to me and asked: “Why are you only buttering one side of the bread? We’re not in prison now”‘.
She continued: ‘He had a tag on his ankle as, even though he’d been released from prison on good behaviour, he still had to spend six months under house arrest.
‘He was not allowed to be out of the confines of his house after his 7pm curfew.’
Playwright Vicki said she and George danced in the kitchen and sang Buddhist songs, as well as his own record, Bow Down Mister with Jesus Loves You.
She said: ‘George stood right on the very borders of his living room, asking: ‘Am I alright to stand here? Will I get dragged back to prison if I put a toe over?’
Latest venture: George is currently enjoying a stint on ITV show I’m A Celebrity
Vicki, from St Albans,became George’s number one fan after watching him perform Do You Really Want to Hurt Me on Top of the Pops in September 1982.
She said: ‘I remember staring at the television screen mesmerised. I fell in love, or as much as you can be in love at six years old.’
‘When Karma Chameleon hit Number One a year later, I first met George.
‘It was in Brent Cross shopping centre when the whole band were signing their first book, When Cameras Go Crazy. George signed my book and I nearly passed out when he kissed me.
‘The next time I met George was outside Red Bus recording studios. I pushed my way through the crowd of fans, and George told my Mum she looked like Elizabeth Taylor! She was so chuffed!’
Vicki was at Snaresbrook Court with his brother Kevin when the pop icon was convicted of assault and false imprisonment of male escort Audun Carlsen.
Assault: In December 2008, Boy George was convicted for the assault and false imprisonment of Norwegian male sex worker Audun Carlsen (pictured) during a ‘psychotic episode’
‘It was such a shock when George got jailed,’” said Vicki.
Vicki revealed how she wrote to George while he was serving his sentence at Pentonviille in London and Highpoint North prison in Suffolk and he wrote a touching letter back to her, thanking her for her loyal support.
She said: ‘I sent George a book called Only Love is Real: Soulmates Reunited by Doctor Brian Weiss. I knew George was spiritual and that he’d love it.
‘George wrote back to me straight away and I treasure that letter to this day.’
Vicki said: ‘George had said his May 11 release date was a time for celebration so he hosted a soiree at his house in Hampstead, North London, which is now listed for sale, (pictured)
In his letter Boy George wrote: ‘Dear Vicki. Bless you for your lovely letter and support during this surreal chapter. Thank you also for the book, which I shall add to my extensive library.
‘It’s a perfect gift because I am doing tons of reading, prison provides the perfect opportunity. Please trust that I am in good spirits and looking forward to the future.
‘God bless you and lots of love to you and all those you love. Cheers! G.’
Boy George and his brother, Kevin, invited Vicki for Sunday roast at their mother Dinah’s home.
She said: ‘It was there that George played me a demo of a beautiful song called, Lights, that he’d written about his friend, Paul Starr, who had sadly died of AIDS.
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‘I don’t think it was ever released, which is so sad, because it really deserved to be a big hit.’
She said: ‘After the trial, George’s brother, Kevin, was devastated, like me, that George had been jailed.
‘I friend requested Kevin on Facebook and he accepted the request. He started to message me and eventually asked me on a date.’
She said they went to George’s Hampstead mansion, which is currently on the market for £17million and that is where Kevin confessed he was in love with her.
Vicki said: ‘Then we kissed….very passionately! I had to stop it there, as there was no way I was going to let things go any further in George’s house when he was in prison at the time.
‘But Kevin and I ended up dating for a year before our relationship fizzled out.’
Vicki, is the co-creator of The Marilyn Conspiracy, a play which won rave reviews at the Edinburgh Fringe and is now going to be launched in a London theatre next year.
Vicki laughed about George’s 80s pop star singer-friend, Marilyn.
She said: ‘No, my play’s not about him! But about Marilyn Monroe and the tragic final days of her life, and why I strongly believe she was murdered.
‘It’s wonderful how George has turned his life around since those dark days in prison and I am so proud of him
‘Now I’m praying that George will win I’m A Celebrity 2022 and be crowned King – or Queen! – of the Jungle.’
As Boy George sells his lavish Hampstead home, are Culture Club still singing in the Church of the Poison Mind… or are they Victims of their own success?
After originally leaving the band in 1986, principal songwriter George enjoyed a successful solo career following the release of debut single Everything I Own the following year. To date he has released 12 solo albums while also working as an established DJ.
Famed for his androgynous sense of style and heavy use of make-up, George did not publicly discuss his sexuality until the 1995 release of his autobiography, Take It Like A Man, in which he confirmed he was gay.
The band’s drummer and George’s secret lover during their early years, Moss formed Heartbeat UK following the dissolution of Culture Club. He would also dabble in the late ’80s acid house scene before releasing music in the 1990s with bands Promised Land and Yeah.
He is father of three with ex-wife Barbara Savage, who also owns a property close to George in north London.
Following the band’s separation, bass player Craig attempted to strike out as a solo artist with the 1988 release of debut single In 1988, he released a solo single I’m A Believer. However the track failed to make an impact on the UK top 40 and would be his only release away from Culture Club.
Throughout the ’90s he Craig launched his own dance label, SLAMM records, serving as executive producer on hits by Mr. & Mrs. Smith and Mankey.
He has also performed with Kid Creole and the Coconuts.
After leaving Culture Club Hay formed This Way Up to moderate success, releasing singles Tell Me Why, If I Can’t Have You and Louise in 1987. Debut album Feeling Good About It was released the same year.
In 1989 he moved to Los Angeles and began writing and developing music for up-and-coming artists before branching into composition work.
To date he has worked with the legendary Hans Zimmerman and is responsible for scoring music for TV shows Cracker and The Dead Zone.
Iconic: (Clockwise from top left) Culture Club stars Boy George, Roy Hay, Mikey Craig, Jon Moss at the height of their fame in 1983