Rita Ora apologises after holding birthday party with 30 friends
Rita Ora says she’s “deeply sorry” for breaking lockdown rules after celebrating her birthday with 30 friends.
The How We Do singer held what she says was a “small gathering” in a west London restaurant over the weekend to mark her 30th.
Celebrity guests included Cara Delevingne and her sister Poppy, and former The Only Way Is Essex star Vas J Morgan.
Scotland Yard confirmed that officers had been called to an address in Notting Hill on Saturday night amid a breach of COVID-19 regulations.
Current lockdown rules in England state that restaurants and pubs should be open for takeaway and delivery only, and that people are not allowed to mix indoors or outside in groups larger than six.
Ora posted an apology on Instagram admitting she was “embarrassed” because she knows how hard people have worked to combat coronavirus.
In a statement on her Instagram story, Ora 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…
“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 judgement. Given the restrictions, I realise how irresponsible these actions were and I take full responsibility.
“I feel particularly embarrassed knowing first-hand 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.”
Earlier on her social media account, Ora had shared photos and videos of her in her shiny silver and black latex outfit, in a balloon and flower filled room during the birthday celebrations.
In a message she wrote: “Me and cake and some trousers I couldn’t breathe in. Thank you for all the love it felt weird not doing anything for my bday so being me I dressed up and ate cake.”
The singer has previously said she has used lockdown to work on her third album and catch up on some sleep.
Ora’s mother, psychiatrist Vera Sahatciu, returned to work at the NHS this year to help during the coronavirus pandemic.
The star’s coronavirus breach, along with several other celebrity gatherings over lockdown, has prompted Downing Street to remind people that the rules apply to everyone.
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Boris Johnson’s official spokesman said: “It’s important that everybody in society sets an example by following the rules – that is for every member of the public, including celebrities.
“Throughout the pandemic we’ve been clear that it’s vital for everyone to abide by the rules in order to suppress the virus and reduce the transmission, but enforcement matter is for the police.
“The prime minister has been clear of the need for everybody across the country to continue to abide by the rules in order to reduce the transmission of the virus, but it’s up to police to decide what action to take.”
Lockdown restrictions in England will lift on Wednesday, and the tier system will kick in meaning that different areas have to comply with different restrictions.
London will be placed under tier 2 which means that restaurants will be able to invite customers in as long as substantial food is served.