George Michael has said his public disgraces have let down young, gay people who are seeking to be open and proud about their sexuality.
Singer and entertainer George Michael announced yesterday his first tour in three years, also said he’s started work on a new album that will be a "gay collective", especially featuring young, unknown gay and "gay-friendly" artists. The idea is to make amends for his behaviour.
George Michael, who has been in a long-term relationship with Kenny Goss since 1996, only revealed his homosexuality in 1998, after he was arrested for "engaging in a lewd act" in a public toilet in a park in Beverly Hills, California. it may have been a clear case of entrapment at the time, but raised global curiosity regarding Michael’s sexual activities.
After being accused of engaging in a sexual act in public in 2006, this time on Hampstead Heath in north London, Michael said that he openly cruises for sex. He said this was not an issue in his relationship with Goss. He was seen many times by local’s to stalk the wooded area of the heath.
Michael had also been arrested for possession of cannabis a number of times, although in an interview with the Guardian newspaper in 2009, he claimed he was only smoking "seven or eight" joints a day.
Then he crashed into a Snappy Snaps shop front in Hampstead. He was charged with possession of cannabis and "driving while unfit", and sentenced to eight weeks in prison, a fine and a five-year driving ban.
During a press conference announcing his 47-date tour yesterday he said: "’My behaviour meant kids suffered abuse and homophobic language that is legal here. I feel re-energised after some of my latest troubles”
"In terms of recovering from a very long period of grief and self-abuse, and in terms of staying on the straight and narrow, there’s nothing like touring. It gives me the impetus to take care of myself and approve of myself.
"The new album is going to be a gay collective. I’m really keen to talk to gay and gay-friendly artists," he said.
Michael said on the tour they would include reinterpreted personal favourites of his, sung against with a live symphony orchestra. "Once ego has been satisfied … you can concentrate on authenticity, which means more honesty, more of myself," he said.