A man handcuffed to a wall by “monster” Boy George has said he is disgusted that the pop star is pocketing £800,000 (A$1.4 million) to appear on the UK’s I’m a Celebrity … Get Me Out of Here reality TV series.
Audun Carlsen, 43, says he is still traumatised from the night the pop star brutally attacked him in a drug-fuelled rampage, The Sun reports.
The Culture Club singer and former judge on The Voice Australia, George, 61, was jailed in 2009 over the attack two years earlier.
It comes as The Sun exclusively revealed the iconic pop star is being paid more than $A1.4 million to appear on the ITV show this year, outstripping the previous record by nearly $A439,000.
George, real name George O’Dowd, had been asked several times in the past to appear on I’m A Celeb and was always reluctant to do the show.
But the temptation of the giant pay check was too great to turn down.
Branding George a “monster”, Audun told the Mirror: “Had I been a woman and he did what he did, he would never have been given the platform.
“It’s hurtful that big organisations like ITV give him that platform.
“I think giving him this sort of platform and a record fee sends the wrong message to survivors of violence and abuse and is plain wrong.”
Boy George has said he was high on cocaine and having a psychotic episode at the time of the attack – and has been drug-free since.
The star pleaded not guilty to the attack but was sentenced to 15 months jail after being convicted of assault and false imprisonment.
George has always denied a court claim that he beat Audun with a chain while the former escort fled in his boxers.
George ended up spending four months in prison, where he says he was the victim of homophobic attacks, but Audun has little sympathy.
Audun said: “I still see the monster that he is every time I see him. He hasn’t changed. I’m not going to watch I’m A Celeb, and I love that show. I might watch him doing a Bushtucker Trial.
“But I won’t vote for him, I won’t participate. Being in there is too easy for him.
“When it gets scary he can say I’m A Celebrity … Get Me Out Of Here. I couldn’t do that when I was chained to his wall.”
In 2017, Boy George opened up with Piers Morgan on Life Stories, saying he regretted the incident and breaking down.
The Culture Club frontman said: “I sent myself to prison. I told police why I did what I did. I was having a psychotic episode.
“I was a drug addict so I can’t say my reasons for doing it were founded in any way. But I told the truth. I have always denied beating the guy.”
In January 2007, George contacted Audun Carlsen via a gay dating website and asked if he could book him for a modelling job for his clothing range.
But the model said that the encounter turned sour when the 80s icon made sexual advances towards him – turning violent when he was rejected.
He recalls: “He said he wanted to get milk. I heard him talking, I thought it was a neighbour. Then he asked me to come to the bedroom and there he was with another man.
“They jumped on me, kicked, dragged me along the floor. He handcuffed me to the wall and told the man to go, saying he’d deal with me from now on.
“The guy was there for 20 minutes. I was hooked to the wall for about half an hour. I was s*** scared.”
The other man was never identified. Judge David Radford told the star at Snaresbrook Crown Court, that George acted with “gratuitous violence”.
Audun has been severely affected by the ordeal since, having been in therapy for a decade and also being diagnosed with PTSD.
He says: “Every time I see him, I feel it all over again. I have a permanent back injury. Two or three times a year I get a slipped disc. I’ve not used dating sites since.
“I can’t meet anyone because I get too anxious. I get sceptical about people because I don’t know what their intentions are.”
George made a public apology in 2017. But Audun, who now works in hospitality, didn’t find it genuine and wants a personal apology.
He adds: “I can always forgive, but it has to come from a truthful place.”
Audun continued: “I think he will be in control, calculating, he knows exactly what he is doing.
“But there will be times when the mask slips, when there’s no food, only cockroaches to eat. I think a person with a kind personality will win. He doesn’t deserve to be a winner.”
The ITV reality show begins tomorrow night and is back in Australia for the first time since it was halted thanks to Covid.
An ITV source defended the channel’s decision to hire George, saying: “This is a historic, spent conviction and George has appeared on major TV networks globally on numerous occasions since over the last decade.”
While a spokesman for the star said: “George went to jail for four months willingly after openly confessing to false imprisonment during a psychotic break 15 years ago while in the midst of a well documented drug problem.
“Not only has he been a pillar of society ever since, but he also remains sober to this day. He apologised publicly on Piers Morgan’s life stories and we are very proud of him for his rehabilitation.
“Everyone is entitled to a second chance and George has certainly earned it.”
The singer is joined on I’m A Celeb by DJ Chris Moyles, 48, rugby star and royal in-law Mike Tindall, 44, and Loose Women panellist Charlene White, 42.
Before George’s whopping pay check, Deal or No Deal host Noel Edmonds is believed to have been the best paid star to date, pocketing £550,000 (A$967,000) to appear in 2018.
This article originally appeared on The Sun and has been republished with permission
Originally published at www.news.com.au