May 13th, 2011
12:55 PM ET
George Michael is back in the limelight thanks to his upcoming tour and a new album, but the singer admits that most of the attention he's gotten in recent years hasn't necessarily been so positive.
As a result, Michael believes that his ongoing brushes with the law have been hurtful to his fans and the gay community.
"I have a serious problem with the fact that every time I made a mistake and every time I let myself down that I was letting young gay kids down," he told reporters in England, according to the Daily Mail. "'Because they would then witness the homophobia that was thrown [at] me and the language that we use in this country."
The performer continued, "There are things I want to do with my next album to make up for the damage that I have inadvertently caused by making myself so newsworthy and putting myself on the back foot enough that I couldn’t defend gay children from some of that language."
Michael's legal troubles extend as far back as 1998, when he was arrested for "engaging in a lewd act" in a public restroom in California, and that incident was followed by a string of other run-ins with the law. Last year, he crashed his Range Rover into a north London shop and served an eight-week prison sentence for driving under the influence of drugs.
Throughout it all, Michael's fans stood by him, and that's exactly why he has decided to make new music and launch a new tour.
"I’m not surprised that my fans have stuck by me. I have been surprised by the amount of support I’ve had in some ways, but my fans have always been incredibly loyal," he says. "In terms of trying to stay on the straight and narrow as it were, then there is nothing better than the work you love."
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