‘Did you really have to hurt him?’ the prosecution asked, as they told the jury how Boy George manacled escort Audun Carlsen to a wall in his flat and whipped him with a metal chain. The incident culminated in a semi-naked Carlsen escaping and screaming for help on the streets of Shoreditch. The singer was sentenced to 15 months in jail.
2. Princess Diana 1995
While Prince Charles was famously recorded saying he yearned to be Camilla’s tampon (shudder), Di (according to former butler Paul Burrell) had her lover, surgeon Hasnat Khan, smuggled in and out of Kensington Palace in the boot of a car.
3. Gillian Taylforth 1994
Spotted by a policeman giving oral sex in a Range Rover parked on an A1 slip road, recent ‘Celebrity Big Brother’ contestant Gillian Taylforth claimed she was just rubbing her partner’s stomach. Taylforth and said partner Geoff Knights staged a reconstruction of the belly rub in a high court car park after the actress sued The Sun for libel. Two Sun journos then got the chance to act out their version of events. Taylforth lost.
4. The Duchess of Argyll 1963
Margaret Campbell, Duchess of Argyll, generously allowed her lover to save his face when someone snapped her giving him a blowjob in her Mayfair home. The pornographic Polaroids sparked a hunt for the mystery ‘Headless Man’ and fuelled the salacious gossip surrounding her sensational 1963 divorce.
5. George Michael 2008
Candid cottager George Michael came out in fantastically public style in 1998 when he was caught by police ‘engaged in a lewd act’ in a Los Angeles lav. Ten years later, he was in bother again – this time in a Victorian public loo near Hampstead Heath. He was arrested (not charged) for possession of crack cocaine.
6. DH Lawrence 1960
‘Th’art good cunt… Best bit o’ cunt left on earth,’ opined gamekeeper Mellors about roughing it aristocrat Constance in 1928 novel ‘Lady Chatterley’s Lover’. And it’s just that sort of mildly fruity language that saw the book banned in Britain and at the centre of a landmark freedom of speech case at the Old Bailey as late as 1960. Despite the prosecution itemising the book’s obscenities (the word ‘cunt’ appears 14 times), Penguin won the right to publish it uncensored, and it sold 200,000 copies in one day.
7. Ron Davies 1998
When ex-cabinet minister Ron Davies was mugged at a Clapham Common cruising hotspot in 1998, he described the event as a ‘moment of madness’. Back on his tail in 2003, The Sun snapped him allegedly engaged in a gay sex act at Tog Hill, Somerset. His story? ‘I was looking for badgers.’ This was not a ‘moment of madness’, then?
8. Boris Becker 1999
The story of the Wimbledon champ bonking Russian lady Angela Ermakova in a Nobu broom cupboard is legendary. Ermakova followed the hook-up (which actually happened on some stairs in the restaurant) eight months later with a fax informing Becker of his illegitimate child. The tennis ace initially had the balls to deny the claim, but admitted paternity after a DNA test proved him to be the father.
9. Leslie Grantham 2004
The ‘EastEnders’ actor was caught on a webcam from his BBC dressing room as he suggestively sucked his finger and revealed himself naked and aroused. The soap star used the MSN Messenger alias ‘kwanertoo’ – a rather appropriate anagram of ‘wanker too’.
10. John Profumo 1963
Secretary of State for War John Profumo was forced to resign in 1963 after admitting an illicit dalliance with Christine Keeler – a call girl who was also sleeping with a known criminal and a spy from the Soviet embassy. It was the height of the Cold War, and the scandal saw the Tory government totter and Keeler (famously shot naked astride a chair) become a celebrity.
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