George Michael has pleaded guilty to being unfit to drive through drugs. This means that there will now be no trial, and George will be sentenced on May 30. It emerged in court that George had fired his previous lawyer, and taken on a new legal representation during the previous week.
George denied in court that the drugs in his system were illegal substances, and said that they were actually prescription drugs; and that possibly the main cause of him falling asleep was that he was simply tired because of his heavy workload. The truth of this claim will (potentially) be established with more tests on the blood sample George provided at the time of his arrest.
When first asked by the judge to enter a plea, George said,
Guilty…. No. Not Guilty…. No. I need to confer with my lawyer… Guilty.
George then told the court:
I have only been aware for the last fifteen minutes that this was a possibility to address you in an open court. I just want to be as brief as possible.
There are two reasons why we are here today, the first being I did something very stupid and I have been ashamed of since doing it… I’m not used to defending myself in a position where I am ashamed of something.
If I had known, the day after the charge was brought, that the legal option of accepting a punishment without taking responsibility for something I didn’t feel I was guilty of, I could have saved everybody here a lot of time and trouble. But I genuinely believe that I only knew the full possibility of this in the last week and that as soon as I took on (new lawyer) Brian Spiro I realised that I had been in a combination of mis-information and shame for about eight months.
I really have been very distressed by this whole thing. I’m perfectly aware that I did something very wrong when I got in my car when I was unfit to drive. It was fairly predictable considering how much work I had done that week. I was not in my normal physical state and I am totally prepared to accept the correct punishment for that. I would have accepted it a long time ago.
I suspect it’s a bit late in the day to be showing remorse to the court; but better late than never. Still, I’m pretty sure the last-minute nature of this admission will mean the judge disregards it when deciding on the sentence. I also don’t believe the judge will find it credible that George had bad legal advice during the last eight months; he is in a position to hire the best legal team available. If he didn’t, that fault can lie only with him and his management team. The judge will be keen to find out the veracity of George’s claim that there were no illegal drugs in his system, before handing out the sentence.