At 2:50 PM on April 7, 1998, George Michael strolled into this public restroom at Will Rogers Park across the street form the Beverly Hills Hotel. The park is located at 9650 Sunset Blvd., Beverly Hills, California 90211.
Due to the increasing number of complaints of lewd activity in the men’s restroom a “crime suppression unit” was monitoring the park and checking for any subjects loitering in the area. Here’s the officer’s report after he saw Michael enter the men’s restroom,
“As I walked into the restroom, I noticed the male subject standing at the urinal. He turned and glanced in my direction. I walked into the stall and stood by the toilet with the stall door remaining open. I began to simulate urinating. Michael stepped away from the urinal and walked over to the south wall, and looked into the stall toward my direction. I noticed that Michael was exposing his erect penis toward my direction, and began to masturbate, and with his left hand pulled his sweatpants down to his upper thigh revealing his buttocks. He continued to masturbate as I walked past him, and left the restroom. I contacted my fellow officer, and arrested Michael as he exited the restroom.”
The arrested man identified himself to police using his real name Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou. Michael later stated in an interview,
“I got followed into the restroom and then this cop—I didn’t know it was a cop, obviously—he started playing this game, which I think is called, ‘I’ll show you mine, you show me yours, and then when you show me yours, I’m going to nick you!”
This incident forced Michael to officially come out of the closet, serve some community service and film a sort of self-deprecating video for the song “Outside” where he dressed as a cop and danced in a public restroom.
The video featuring Policemen kissing and was released 6 months after the arrest on October 19, 1998.
The arresting police officer Marcelo Rodríguez claimed that this video “mocked” him, and that Michael had slandered him in interviews. In 1999, he brought a US$10 million court case in California against Michael. The court initially dismissed the case, but an Appellate court reinstated the case in 2002. The court then ruled Rodríguez, as a public official, could not legally recover damages for emotional distress.