Sober Boy George Takes Second in Celebrity Apprentice


Despite Clashing With Motley Crue’s Vince Neil

By Staff Writer

Original Source:

An icon from the 80s recently made news again, as Boy George finished as the runner-up in this season’s Celebrity Apprentice. Although Arnold Schwarzenegger chose Matt Iseman (host of American Ninja Warrior) as the winner, Boy George certainly competed well, raising $445,000 for his chosen charity, Safe Kids Worldwide, in the show’s final competition.

George brought more than business acumen to the show; he also brought at least a little conflict connected to his past episodes of drug and alcohol abuse. Before you can understand that situation, though, it’s important to understand George’s addictive history for context.

As his fame peaked in the 80s, Boy George began to spiral downward through alcohol and drug addiction. He entered rehab in the late 80s after being arrested for heroin possession, and things seemed to be coming together for him in the 90s.

However, in 2003, he stepped back into cocaine use with some friends, and as he told Mirror magazine, “the second time you get hooked on drugs, the descent from penthouse to gutter is much more rapid.” It took Boy George five years to realize he needed help again, but on March 2, 2008 he chose to walk back into recovery. According to George, he has been drug and alcohol free since that moment.

However, his behavior during his out of control phase continued to haunt George, as he was eventually prosecuted for an assault that occurred—while he was high—over a year before he got sober. He took the conviction stoically, saying “the person they were prosecuting was the old George, the drug addict.”

George was originally sentenced to fifteen months, but was released early in May 2009, after serving just four months. Since that time, he’s been vocal about his addiction and recovery, al-ways in the hopes that he could use his platform to help others break their own cycles of addiction.

Given that background, then, it’s easy to understand what happened on the season premiere of Celebrity Apprentice. He was paired with Vince Neil (of Motley Crue fame) to record a song in the studio. Neil has his own checkered past with alcohol, including an inebriated crash in 1984 which resulted in a passenger’s death and caused Neil’s conviction for involuntary manslaughter.

However, Neil continues to drink, and brought wine into the studio. Obviously, George took of-fense, saying “I’m a recovering addict. I do not need to be in the room with someone drinking alcohol…I’m not happy about it at all.” Neil, unfazed, continued to drink, telling Boy George “You can’t put your sobriety on everybody else.”

It is to Boy George’s credit that he was able to continue working with Neil, even after the show’s crew had to separate the two to avoid a fight. Not only did they complete the song together, but their song actually won that Celebrity Apprentice event. Perhaps that bodes well for the new Culture Club album, Tribes. According to George, it’s been completed since 2015 and will be released “when the time is right.”