Rita Ora Apologizes For 'Inexcusable' Birthday Party During UK Lockdown – And Pays A HEFTY Fine For It!
Celebs really think the pandemic doesn’t apply to them, huh?
Throughout the nearly nine-month crisis, the rich and famous have been criticized again and again for flouting quarantine rules and partying with pals. This time, at least, someone actually paid for it: Rita Ora was forced to shell out a hefty fine after throwing herself an indoor birthday bash, violating the UK’s current lockdown rules.
On Sunday, British tabloid The Sun reported the pop star had hosted a soirée at a Notting Hill restaurant attended by “more than 30 people” (though a source for DailyMail.com later claimed only 7 people were in attendance). Per photos from The Sun, guests included Cara Delevingne and her sister Poppy.
An insider told the outlet:
“Rita and her sister came to the restaurant first, all dolled up and clearly looking forward to a good night. There were a number of guests, all dressed up very glamorously, and everyone entered the building through the back, with security watching the front to make sure no one else went in. It went on until the early hours.”
After news broke of the Black Widow singer’s thoughtless actions, she took to Instagram to apologize to fans. In a message on her IG story, she wrote:
“Hello all, I attended a small gathering with some friends to celebrate my 30th birthday. It was a spur of the moment decision made with the misguided view that we were coming out of lockdown and this would be OK…”
Let’s pause here for a second, shall we? “Attended a gathering” is a pretty passive way of saying hosted a party, particularly when due to lockdown (which was very much still in effect, “misguided” notions aside) someone would have had to negotiate with the restaurant to open up and hold the event.
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And again, lockdown in England, which began on November 5, doesn’t lift until December 2, so this crew obviously knew they were breaking the rules. Beyond that, though, we’ve all been living with coronavirus for nearly all of 2020. We all know by now that indoor gatherings are riskier, especially with people outside your household. Even if there wasn’t a lockdown, that kind of event shouldn’t be held “spur of the moment” while the pandemic continues to wreak global havoc.
The statement continued:
“I’m deeply sorry for breaking the rules and in turn understand that this puts people at risk. This was a serious and inexcusable error of judgment. Given the restrictions, I realise how irresponsible these actions were and I take full responsibility.
I feel particularly embarrassed knowing firsthand how hard people have worked to combat this terrible illness and being fully aware of the sacrifices that people and businesses have made to help keep us all safe. Even though this won’t make it right, I want to sincerely apologise.”
A source told DailyMail.com that Rita, who earlier this year designed “Stop The Spread” t-shirts to support the World Health Organization’s COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund, has already “voluntarily paid” the £10,000 fine (equivalent of about $12k) and “hopes this will go some way to making up for her error of judgement.”
According to DailyMail.com, London police are still investigating the incident, though the restaurant’s ownership and management have denied knowledge as to why the venue was open.
It’s heartbreaking to think of all the big life events — including loved ones’ funerals — that regular people skipped this year for safety while celebs continue to do whatever they want, no matter the consequences. (As is often said, “punishable by fine” basically means “legal for the rich.”)
We really hope people have more sense, or we’re going to be stuck in this pandemic even longer.
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