George Michael Pleads Guilty to Drug Charges

Troubled Wham! singer could face jail, warns judge

By Greg Wilson
|  Tuesday, Aug 24, 2010  |  Updated 5:45 AM PDT
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Redferns

It's amazing the George Michael manages to keep it together at all. Having been arrested for bathroom related activity on more than one occasion (once for soliciting sex, once for drug-related activity), but his latest run in with the cops took place on the road. Michael collided with another car, and some suspected he might have been drunk. "Neither of us was charged because we were both stone cold sober," he said.

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The Old Bailey has lost faith in George Michael, with a judge warning him that he faces jail after pleading guilty to his latest drug offense.

The troubled pop star fessed up Tuesday to charges stemming from a July 4 incident in which he was found next to his Range Rover after it had crashed into a London shop. The judge suspended his license and told him a jail sentence may be waiting for him

Appearing at Highbury Corner Magistrates Court, Michael admitted driving under the influence of drugs and possession of pot following the wee hours crash, where police say they found him "spaced out" and with dilated pupils.

"It is a serious matter. Your driving was extremely poor and there was an accident," Judge Robin McPhee said, adding that Michael has already had one conviction.

Three years ago, Michael was found slumped over the wheel of his car, which was blocking an intersection.

Michael, 47, whose real name is Georgios Panayiotou, spoke only to enter his pleas and confirm his identity. The former Wham! lead singer needed help from police to get through a swarm of photographers and cameramen as he arrived at the court.

After crashing into a shop, the singer climbed out of his auto and waited for cops after the 3:30 am incident, according to the Daily Mail. It was just the latest in a string of scrapes for Michael, one of the biggest stars of the 1980s. In 2007, he was arrested in London after drivers complained he was blocking the road. He pleaded guilty to driving while while under the influence of drugs and was banned from driving for two years and sentenced to community service.

At the time, he told the BBC that he smoked too much pot. Absolutely I would like to take less, no question," he said. "To that degree, it's a problem."

But he added, "I'm a happy man and I can afford my marijuana so that's not a problem."

Last year, he was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence when his Land Rover hit a truck. Back in 1998, he was arrested by LA cops in a park restroom and later pleaded no contest to engaging in a lewd act.

The Grammy award winner has sold an estimated 100 million albums as a solo artist, churning out such hits as "Careless Whisper" and "Faith."

Selected Reading: The Associated Press, Daily Mail, Reuters.

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