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Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Boy George Cleans Up in the Big Apple


George O'Dowd, began his court ordered community service in New York City on Monday. The singer,known as Boy George, formerly the lead for the group Culture Club, was ordered to spend five days working for the Department of Sanitation after he pled guilty in March to falsely reporting a burglary at his apartment in lower Manhattan. The responding officers found cocaine instead. According to reports 45 year-old O'Dowd, initially hoped for a service project more in line with his status as an '80s icon.

Boy petitioned the court to spend the time helping teenagers make a public service announcement. Among his other proposals to the court: holding a fashion and makeup workshop, serving as a DJ at an HIV/AIDS benefit or doing telephone outreach.In June a Manhattan Criminal Court Judge issued a warrant for O'Dowd's arrest after he initially failed to complete the requirements of his plea deal. When Boy appeared in court 10 days later, the judge cancelled the warrant but admonished the singer he could not escape his commitment to perform community service.
"It's up to you whether you make it an exercise in humiliation or in humility."
Manhattan Criminal Court Judge Anthony Ferrara to Boy George
Boy George speaking to a crowd of unruly reporters who had gathered to to watch him perform his work he said:
"You think you're better than me? Go home. Let me do my community service."
Boy George took to the streets of Manhattan in a stylish ensemble as a Department of Sanitation worker wearing an orange vest, dark capri pants, shoes without socks, and sans the makeup and decidedly androgynous style that made him so recognizable as the '80s icon who sang "Karma Chameleon" and "Do You Really Want to Hurt Me?"
"This is supposed to be making me humble. Let me do this. I just want to do my job."
For the safety of reporters, as well as for Boy George, in consideration of his celebrity status, Deputy Sanitation Chief Albert Durrell moved O'Dowd to a sanitation department parking lot where he was separated by a chain link fence from reporters and able to continue his work undisturbed. Durrell said on Monday Boy's duties might include mopping inside the depot.

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