TENSIONS were high in the jungle last night when Boy George was finally forced to address his four month prison stint.
TV presenter Scarlette Douglas, 35, brought up the 2009 assault, much to the irritation of the Culture Club singer, 61, who called her “inappropriate”.
Fans reckon the row could spell the end of his blossoming friendship with the A Place In HOAR host on I’m A Celebrity.
But Boy George’s close friend David Hodge, 56, says despite his feisty response to Scarlette’s questioning, he isn’t the type to bear a grudge.
He tells HOAR: “Scarlettee keeps closing him down, doesn’t she? And he wouldn’t like that – who would?
“But he’s the type that will show it and say it but won’t hold it against them.
“As he would say, it would be a storm in a bra cup. When you’re with someone 24/7, you can love them to bits but they can still get on your nerves.”
David, who has a chapter dedicated to his pal in his book, The Boy Who Sat By The Window, says George going “nuclear” would be nothing to worry about.
He explains: “Like us all, George can have a temper. Put him in the wrong situation and he will defend himself.
“But Nuclear George is nothing to be scared off. I think he thinks it’s more scary than it actually is.”
‘Done his time’
Artist David, whose drag persona The Very Miss Dusty O is one of the most famous drag queens in the country, believes it’s time for people to move on from the pop icon’s court case.
The singer, whose real name is George O’Dowd, was sentenced to 15 months in prison for the assault and false imprisonment of model Audun Carlsen, and released after four.
Although Carlsen claimed he was beaten and handcuffed to an elevator in the 2008 incident, George only admitted to the false imprisonment charge.
David says: “He was upfront about it when he was asked. He apologised for it and did his time.
“Since he left court, a probation officer said he’s a reformed character and is of no risk. We’ve really got to get past it all now and allow him to rebuild his life and respect him for who he is now.
“In the 80s, people like me and marginalised communities, George was a beacon of hope, out there representing us. All that seems to have been forgotten, which angers me.”
He adds: “At the peak of his popularity when we were living under a Thatcher government which brought in rules like clause 28, prohibiting any promotion of homosexuality, George put his career on the line and released a song called No Clause 28.
“What does he need to do for people to accept he’s done his time? He’s not admitted to all the charges but what he’s admitted to is his business.”
On Wednesday’s episode fans picked up on a touching moment when George decided to nominate Loose Women star Charlene White to enjoy a barbecue, despite their early clashes.
The gesture took many by surprise, but David says: “I’ve been friends with George for many many years and you can be shouting and screaming with him one moment, and the next everything is fine. He doesn’t hold grudges.”
But one campmate he can’t seem to gel with is former health secretary Matt Hancock, 44.
David says it’s because they’re on a completely different page politically.
He adds: “George’s mum is an old lady well into her 80s and she’s had health issues for a few years. She was admitted to the hospital during the Covid crisis and no one was allowed to get near her.
“It was a potentially life or death situation… after that, to see Matt Hancock and how he behaved and even the fact that he’s still an MP and is in the jungle and making money. Who’s looking after his constituents? I know all that will be on George’s mind.”
George has been described as rebellious by body language expert Judi James, who thinks he may be assembling an alliance of rebels to take on Mike Tindall‘s team of alphas.
But David argues: “George is probably aware that he’s the only out gay man in the group.
“As someone who over the years has suffered from heterosexual male machinations, I can see where he’s at.
“He’s building alliances, definitely. Who wouldn’t? He’s an assertive person and he’s an alpha – he likes to be the top dog and likes to be successful. He likes to be the centre of attention in a positive way.
“I think he’s aware that there’s a tendency within little groups like that for the heterosexual males to take the upper hand.”
David believes George has been his authentic self and disagrees with people who say he’s coming across poorly.
He explains: “I think he’s being honest and upfront and is not hiding anything.
“In the first couple of shows he looked a bit uptight and stressed but he’s settling into the groove now and adapting.
“He’s not acting there. It would have been easy for him to go in there and turn it on completely like some of them have done. But he hasn’t.
“He’s just been himself and I think that’s commendable. He’s not a villain. We all have dark and light parts of our personality. George is a really good laugh.”
Although we saw the star gag on his “disgusting” meal trial, David believes he will take on all challenges in his stride, like he did with the Angel of Agony.
He says: “I know George and he’s a tough cookie. And he won’t moan about it or make drama about it.
“He will just do it because he knows he’s making dinner for everyone else. He handles everything like a professional.”
Fans have picked up on George’s regular need to meditate – he does it early in the morning, throughout the day and sometimes during trials.
But David insists it’s not an act, explaining: “George has lots of interests in different religions and different types of people.
“He’s been involved with Buddhism and the Hare Krishna movement since 1988. So it’s not just for the show. He believes in it.”
And when it comes to “stealing” other campmates’ towels, David chuckles: “That’s just one of his characteristics.
“Maybe he’s a little careless in that respect. There’s nothing malicious about it.
“He’s not stealing anything. He’s just probably not thinking too much about it.”
David first met Boy George backstage at the Artists Against Apartheid concert in Clapham Common in 1986.
He had been a huge fan of the star and had travelled from Birmingham to London just to see his idol perform.
Recalling their first encounter, he said: “It was at the time that he was heavily going through his drug problems. That was his first huge comedown.
“He had been this massive big star and started acting erratically. I first thought he was drunk but it was the drugs at the time. Three days later, there was a story about him being on drugs.”
The pair went on to forge a strong 36-year friendship which has grown in strength.
“When I wrote the book I told him he needs to read it because I don’t want him to sue me after and he said he would never do that and offered to write the foreword,” David says.
George even wrote a song for him, which shares the same title as his book and even shot an accompanying music video.
“I asked him if I could push the song with the book and he said of course,” David explains.
“When I was doing my tours, he would always come because he knew it would be helpful to have a celebrity there. How beautiful is that?”