Boy George and the rest of Culture Club have just announced their first ever shows in New Zealand, but he may find getting into the country harder than expected.

New Zealand is no stranger to denying visas to celebrities due to their criminal histories - the biggest example in recent times being Chris Brown, who was denied entry due to his history of domestic violence against ex-girlfriend Rihanna.

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And that could keep Boy George out too, leaving the band without their lead singer and front man.


In 2009, Boy George - whose real name is George O'Dowd - was convicted for falsely imprisoning a male escort and beating him.

He handcuffed Audun Carlsen to a wall during a naked photo shoot and proceeded to beat him with a metal chain.

The judge overseeing the case ruled O'Dowd was guilty of "gratuitous violence", condemning his "premeditated", "callous", and "degrading" drug-fuelled actions, which "traumatised" his victim, the Telegraph reported at the time.

O'Dowd was fined £5,000 and sentenced to 15 months jail time, but only served four before being released on good behaviour.

He also has previous convictions for "going equipped for theft" as a juvenile in 1977, and a Class B drugs offence 10 years later. He also served community service in 2006 for falsely reporting a burglary during the investigation of which, police found cocaine in his possession.

Chris Brown was denied entry to New Zealand because of his history of domestic violence. Photo / Supplied
Chris Brown was denied entry to New Zealand because of his history of domestic violence. Photo / Supplied

O'Dowd was denied a US visa in 2008 due to his criminal history and was effectively banned from entering the country until 2014, when he was allowed back in.

In the past, New Zealand has denied entry to many musicians including Chris Brown and rap group Odd Future, who were denied entry because their previous shows had incited violence and they might be a threat to public order.

That said, other stars with criminal pasts have been allowed in, including Motley Crue's Tommy Lee, Stone Temple Pilots' Scott Weiland and Def Leppard's Rick Allen, all of whom were arrested for domestic violence.

Immigration New Zealand confirmed O'Dowd's visa application is yet to be received, but the shows' promoter Stewart Macpherson said the matter was "in hand" and the application was being handled by a company called Global Access in the US.