Boy George Surprised By 'Nice' Prisoners
Pop star Boy George was stunned to discover the convicts he spent time with as an inmate at London's Pentonville Prison were polite.
The former Culture Club frontman was jailed in January (09) for the false imprisonment and assault of a male escort in 2007.
He was initially terrified about coming face to face with hardened criminals before his sentence began, but he was treated with nothing but respect.
He tells TV host Jonathan Ross, "The first 48 hours were a little bit of a shock to me! When you walk in, Pentonville is a Victorian prison so it's a classic. Every movie you've ever seen, it's that kind of set-up. When you walk in, you've got the balconies, the safety nets, people shouting Karma Chameleon, banging things.
"You get a lot of attention when you first go in, especially if you're Boy George. But, in a funny sort of way, people were actually quite sweet; people would come up to me and say, 'Do you need a tooth brush, a mirror?' There's some nice people in prison!"
And once he got past the initial shock of being a prisoner, the singer started to come to terms with life behind bars: "You think, 'How am I going to make this work for me?' I got a job in the kitchen, made the vegetarian food. The more you do that, the quicker it (the sentence) goes. They probably thought I was going to be a complete nightmare."
Boy George, real name George O'Dowd, served just four months of his 15-month sentence, and admits there were benefits to the home detention that followed his release.
He adds, "I spent four months in jail, four months on tag - home detention - which meant I was on a curfew from seven to seven. I couldn't go in my garden! Basically, if you go out of range, it buzzes. I had no trouble with it.
"In a funny sort of way, when I came off tag I got a bit depressed because all the time I was at home on tag, I had a get-out clause for everything! If I didn't want to go somewhere, I'd say, 'Can't do that, I'm on tag!' which was great! I can't use that excuse anymore."