BBC News reports that George Michael says he may have deliberately gotten himself arrested in 1998 for lewd conduct so that he could refocus his life after the deaths of his mother and former partner. In an interview with BBC Radio 1's Jo Whiley, Michael says he may have put himself in a situation where he could be caught so that he could "make my life about me. And for six months it worked. I had to fight, I had to make the video [for his song "Outside"], I had to make the single, I had to finish the greatest hits.... But very soon after that I sank again." Following that flurry of activity, Michael says, he returned to grieving for his mother, a process that lasted another four years.
Other points covered in the interview include his "fantastic relationship" with Kenny Goss and the recent coming-out of Pop Idol singer Will Young. "Was I surprised? I don't want to be insulting, but about as surprised as people were with me, probably--and they'd had 18 years to work on it." Michael adds, "I'm very impressed that he did it. I think for a start it was fairly obvious that he might have been gay. I think it's very encouraging that the general public gave him the nod." Michael's new single "Freeek!" is being released Monday in the United Kingdom, although the singer is resigned to the fact that he'll probably lose the number 1 slot to the debut single from Young's Pop Idol runner-up Gareth Gates. The BBC reports that Michael has "conceded gracefully, sending [Gates] a bottle of champagne and advising him to enjoy his career."