Boy George on trial for false imprisonment

Singer alleged to have handcuffed male escort to wall

LONDON -- Singer Boy George handcuffed a male escort to a wall in his London home after accusing him of hacking into his computer, a court heard Monday at the start of his trial on false-imprisonment charges.

The former Culture Club frontman, being tried under his real name George O'Dowd, made contact with Audun Carlsen over the Internet, and the pair arranged to meet for a pornographic photo shoot, the Press Association reported.

Snaresbrook Crown Court in east London heard how the meeting appeared to be going well until O'Dowd began to suspect Carlsen, 29, of hacking into his computer. But they parted on good terms, and the singer paid the younger man 300 of the 400 pounds ($596) on which they had agreed.

During the next few weeks, they exchanged e-mails in which O'Dowd accused Carlsen of breaking into his computer system. The pair also disagreed over the naked pictures.

In later e-mails, though, the singer said he would like to see Carlsen naked, and they agreed to meet a second time.

It was during this encounter that O'Dowd appeared to "take matters into his own hands," prosecuting lawyer Heather Norton said, and chained up the younger man.

Carlsen told the court a second man helped hold him down while O'Dowd beat him.

"George was slapping me and beating me and punching me and screaming things," he said.

Carlsen said he managed to escape after unscrewing a hook from the wall, and the court was shown photographs of red welts on his head and injuries to his arm which he said had been inflicted during the attack.

O'Dowd denies the charges against him. The case continues.
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