Cruising arrest was “huge relief” claims George Michael

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Pop singer George Michael has said that he deliberately got himself arrested for cruising in a public toilet in LA ten years ago.

In an interview on Good Morning America the British star also said that music had helped him with his depression.

“It was a very eventful and bizarrely dark period for me that I thought was going to go on forever,” he said of his cruising arrest.

“It was a huge relief and it took me about a year to admit to myself that I had done it, deliberately.

“The truth is, cruising has gone on for as long as there have been men trying to hide their sexuality.”

In 1998 he was fined $810 (£403) and ordered to do 80 hours community service after being convicted of ‘engaging in a lewd act’ in a California public toilet.

He publicly came out of the closet shortly after.

In previous interviews he had made light-hearted comments about the incident.

“I got followed into the restroom and then this cop – I didn’t know it was a cop, obviously – he started playing this game, which I think is called, ‘I’ll show you mine, you show me yours, and then when you show me yours, I’m going to nick you,'” he said in a previous interview with MTV.

In the early 1990s, Michael met Anselmo Feleppa.

The pair were in a relationship until Feleppa’s death in 1993.

Michael’s single Jesus to a Child, and the album Older were both dedicated to Feleppa.

45-year-old Michael has sold in excess of 80 million records in a career spanning three decades.

He is in the middle of a 22-date tour of the US, his first American gigs in 17 years.

In his Good Morning America interview Michael also spoke candidly about his drugs arrest in London in 2006, when he was discovered slumped at the wheel of his car while under the influence of cannabis.

“I think I really learned something from that, because I did something that I’d never done in my life, which is take risks with other people,” he said.

In January publisher HarperCollins announced they have secured the rights to an autobiography by Michael.

Although neither publisher nor publicist would reveal how much the star is being paid for the book, industry watchers said it was certain to be millions of pounds.

The singer’s manager Andy Stephens said:

“People aren’t stupid. They’re beginning to notice that the truth is more interesting than the stories the press come up with!”

Michael is to write the book “entirely” by himself.

The as-yet untitled book, which HarperCollins called “one of the biggest book deals ever concluded in UK publishing,” is due to appear in autumn 2009.