"Outside" is a song by George Michael, released on Epic Records in 1998. It was released on 19 October 1998 as the lead single from his 1998 greatest hits album Ladies & Gentlemen: The Best of George Michael.
The song was seen as a fine self-deprecating public relations exercise by Michael, as it was the first single since he was arrested for engaging in a lewd act six months earlier by an undercover police officer in the public lavatory of the Will Rogers Memorial Park in Beverly Hills, California - an incident which prompted him to declare his homosexuality, which had been rumoured for some years but never confirmed.
Michael took a swipe at the incident in the lyrics, claiming he wanted an alfresco sex life because he was bored with lovemaking behind closed doors. Reference to the Beverly Hills affair came with the line "I'd service the community, but I already have, you see" (he was sentenced to 80 hours of community service for the offense) and direct samples of radio reports of his arrest.
The video, directed by Vaughan Arnell and filmed on 4 June 1998, was especially satirical. It features a police helicopter hovering over Los Angeles and shadowing a variety of people, gay and straight, kissing, having sex or engaging in foreplay, all in public. The scenes of public coupling are styled like real surveillance footage and interspersed with scenes of Michael and his dancers performing in a men's toilet. Michael is dressed as an LAPD police officer and clutching a nightstick, while the toilet is decorated like a disco nightclub, complete with flashing lights and disco balls. Two female dancers dressed in police uniforms are also seen dancing with Michael.
At the climax of the video, two male officers arrest numerous couples previously shown engaging in lewd conduct. At the end of the video, however, the two officers--thinking that they aren't being watched--share a passionate embrace and start kissing; the surveillance video then focuses in on their public indecency.
In the video, apart from the aforementioned model Melissa Keller, porn stars Rebecca Lord and Brittany Andrews make their appearances, including actress Jeanne Carmen (as the Blonde Dominatrix).
In 1998, Marcelo Rodriguez, the undercover officer who arrested Michael, brought a $10 million court case in California against the singer who has amassed an estimated personal fortune of £70 million ($140 million). The court dismissed the case, but an appeals court reinstated the case on 3 December 2002. The court then ruled Rodriguez, as a public official, could not legally recover damages for emotional distress.
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