May 18, 2007 / 11:06 PM / 12 years ago

George Michael says may quit Britain

LONDON (Reuters) - Singer George Michael said he may quit Britain to escape the relentless media attention on his troubled private life.

British pop singer George Michael performs during the first concert of his European Tour in Aarhus, Denmark May 18, 2007. REUTERS/Bo Amstrup/Scanpix

He admitted to a dependency on prescription drugs, called marijuana much less harmful than alcohol and said he had developed a “very-self destructive” streak since the death of his mother a decade ago.

“I have started thinking for the first time in my life that actually I shouldn’t be living here,” Michael told ITV talk show host Michael Parkinson in a show being broadcast on Saturday.

Reflecting on the intense media coverage he has received, he said “I have got to think seriously about whether or not my love for my country is keeping me somewhere which is not good for me you know.”

Michael’s agent said he has houses in London and Dallas, Texas.

Earlier this month, Michael said he felt “very ashamed” as he pleaded guilty to driving while unfit due to drugs after police found him slumped at the wheel of his car in London.

The singer, who has yet to be sentenced, blamed his behavior on a mixture of tiredness and prescription medicine.

“Yes, it involves prescribed drugs and it involves a dependency on them,” Michael told Parkinson.

Michael blamed his behavior on the death of his mother Lesley in 1997, saying: “I know I have a very self-destructive tendency since my mother died, I have got to be honest.”

He angered mental health charities last year by smoking a cannabis joint during a television interview and saying “This stuff keeps me sane and happy.”

Unrepentant, he told Parkinson “We could sit here with any number of policemen and doctors and they would all tell you if everybody who had a dependence on alcohol changed their mind and had a dependence on weed, the world would be a much easier place to live in.”

“Nobody ever came home stoned and beat up their wife,” he said.

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