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Friend of Singer Boy George Dies of Suspected Drug Overdose

December 21, 1986 GMT

LONDON (AP) _ A 20-year-old man died Sunday of a suspected drug overdose, one day after he was arrested with pop singer Boy George in connection with a possible drug offense, police said.

Mark Golding was rushed from a friend’s apartment but was dead on arrival at St. Mary’s Hospital in Paddington, according to Scotland Yard.

An autopsy has not yet been arranged but police sources said it is believed Golding died from an overdose of methadone, a heroin substitute. ″There is no suggestion of foul play,″ said a Scotland Yard spokeswoman.

Scotland Yard said Boy George, the flamboyant British singer who underwent treatment for heroin addiction last summer, was at his home in Hampstead, several miles from where Golding was found.

It was the second incident of death related to acquaintances of Boy George, whose real name is George O’Dowd.

On Aug. 6, Michael Rudetsky, 27, a songwriter and keyboard player from New York, was found dead of a heroin overdose in a house owned by Boy George in London. The singer was not at the house when the death occurred.

Boy George, 25, who gained fame as the lead singer of the pop group Culture Club, is known for his flowing gowns and feminine makeup. He was convicted July 29 of possessing an unspecified amount of heroin and fined $370.

Police sources said the Paddington apartment where Golding died belonged to Mark Batham, 25, who was arrested early Saturday with Boy George and Golding while the three were walking home from an all-night party.

Scotland Yard said ″certain substances″ were found after the three men were stopped. A source familiar with the case said the substance was believed to be marijuana.

Batham was released without being charged Saturday. Boy George and Golding were released on their own recognizance Saturday and ordered to report to police in February. They were not charged pending analysis of the substances seized when they were arrested.

Scotland Yard said police went to the Paddington apartment after receiving an anonymous phone call from a woman. The woman, who was not identified, was at the apartment when police arrived.

Before Golding’s death was announced, Boy George’s housekeeper, Bonnie, told callers at his Hampstead home that the singer had ″calmed down″ after Saturday’s events and was looking forward to enjoying Christmas with his family.

Kevin O’Dowd, the singer’s brother, told reporters Boy George deserved the fine in July. But he added: ″No one has given him the dignity to get over it in peace. He has had enough. As far as I’m concerned, he’s in the clear.″