NEW YORK – Boy George won't be going to jail. But the former Culture Club singer got a scolding from a judge Monday for not complying with the terms of his sentence on a drug charge.
"I'm not going to give you another chance," Manhattan Criminal Court Judge Anthony Ferrara warned Boy George, who didn't do the community service required by his plea deal for his conditional discharge.
In March, Boy George, whose real name is George O'Dowd, pleaded guilty to third-degree false reporting of an incident. The charge followed his false report of a burglary at his Lower Manhattan apartment where police said they found cocaine.
Under his plea deal, O'Dowd was to enter a drug program in England and do five days of community service in Manhattan. He was also supposed to pay a $1,000 fine and a $160 surcharge, and avoid arrest for any reason during the next six months.
But O'Dowd, 45, didn't do the community service, and earlier this month, Ferrara demanded that the singer show up in court or face arrest.
"You have to do the community service," Ferrara told O'Dowd on Monday. "It's up to you whether you make it an exercise in humiliation or in humility."
"If you don't do the community service, I'll make you a promise: You're going through that door," Ferrara said, pointing toward the entrance to the jail cells.
The judge gave O'Dowd until Aug. 28 to complete the community service.
O'Dowd left the courtroom and immediately went to the probation offices to get his assignment. "I never minded doing the community service," he said as he walked down the hall to the office.
His lawyer, Louis Freeman, said Ferrara's annoyance was "based on a misunderstanding" that O'Dowd was trying to avoid complying with the sentence.
Freeman said O'Dowd always intended to comply with all the terms of his conditional discharge, but had proposed working with an HIV/AIDS charity while taking part in an outpatient drug-treatment program for himself.
The judge rejected that proposal.
"He'll probably be raking leaves in Central Park, or something like that," Freeman said of O'Dowd, who was referred to the Sanitation Department for possible assignment.
Freeman said his client was hoping to do the community service on five consecutive days so that he could make scheduled appearances in Europe. "He's already been threatened with lawsuits if he doesn't show," Freeman said.
When O'Dowd left the community service assignment office, he quipped, "I'm going to be teaching basketball in Harlem."
O'Dowd's drug woes reportedly led to the collapse of the Culture Club, which had the '80s hit singles "Karma Chameleon" and "Do You Really Want to Hurt Me?"