UK

George Michael denies special treatment in prison

  • 4 October 2010
  • From the section UK
George Michael
Image caption George Michael has been transferred to a lower Category D open prison in Suffolk

Jailed pop star George Michael has said he has received "no special treatment of any kind" during his time in prison.

The former Wham! singer, 47, said he felt compelled to dismiss "the usual rubbish" which had been reported while he was behind bars.

In a statement, he said he had been "treated with kindness".

Michael, real name Georgios Panayiotou, received an eight-week sentence last month after he crashed his Range Rover while under the influence of cannabis.

The singer said: "Much as I would prefer to rise above the usual rubbish that I'm reading day after day about my time here in prison, I think it's only fair to my fans, family and friends to respond in some way even though I will be home soon.

"So please believe me when I tell you that in the last three weeks, there have been no tears, no anxiety, no bullying - in fact, not so much as a sleepless night for me."

'Incredible support'

He continued: "On the contrary, I've been treated with kindness by fellow inmates and prison staff alike and, as far as I can tell, have received no special treatment of any kind whatsoever, unless, of course, some of the guys here are letting me win at the pool table.

"Most of my days have been spent reading thousands of letters and post cards of incredible support from people around the world. I promise to repay their kindness with new music as soon as I possibly can."

The star was found slumped at the wheel of his vehicle after it crashed into a branch of photo store Snappy Snaps in Hampstead, north London, in July.

Michael, who had a previous conviction for the same offence, was told by District Judge John Perkins there was no option but jail.

He admitted driving while unfit through drugs and possessing two cannabis cigarettes when he appeared at London's Highbury Corner Magistrates' Court in August.

The singer has been transferred from the Category C Pentonville Prison in north London to the lower Category D Highpoint Prison in Suffolk.

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