‘Literally just my parents and me’: Rita Ora claimed to be celebrating her 30th quietly in interview before star was caught throwing lockdown-flouting birthday bash
- The singer is said to have invited around 30 people to a party at Casa Cruz in London last weekend
- She was caught, with her guests, leaving the event, which was in direct breach of the coronavirus lockdown rules in place in England at the time
- She issued a grovelling apology and paid a £10k fine
- The Mail On Sunday revealed this weekend that she had flown to Egypt a week prior to this to perform at an event for a six-figure sum
- She did not follow rules and quarantine for 14 days, instead celebrating her 30th six days after returning to the UK
- Rita has since issued another apology and will donate her Egypt fee to charity
Rita Ora declared she was having a quiet 30th birthday two weeks prior to throwing a big party for herself amid lockdown.
The Sunday Times Magazine published an interview on Sunday in which the singer claimed she was only celebrating with her parents due to England being in a second lockdown at the time.
The article includes a string of quotes from the pop star about how she was ‘being patient like everyone’ – despite being caught on the day itself leaving a restaurant with a mass of friends and family, breaking the rules in the process and paying a £10k fine.
Awkward: Rita Ora declared she was having a quiet 30th birthday two weeks prior to throwing a big party for herself amid lockdown
The chat took place in early November, in which she said of her lockdown experience: ‘I’m being patient – getting through it like everyone.’
She went on to divulge her apparent birthday plans, saying: ‘It’s going to literally be just my parents and me.
‘I’m actually looking forward to it. To just hanging out with my parents. Is that weird?’
Known as a fan of the social scene and partying, she then remarked: ‘My reputation’s going to go down the drain but [my parents are] my favourite people to hang out with.’
Caught in the act: The Sunday Times Magazine published an interview in which the singer claimed she was only celebrating with her parents due to England being in a second lockdown at the time [pictured on her birthday]
This leaves Rita with egg on her face for the third time, having been caught twice flouting the rules.
The Mail On Sunday revealed that prior to her birthday the singer flew by private jet to Cairo on November 21 to perform at the five-star W Hotel.
She returned the next day and under Government quarantine rules should have self-isolated for 14 days.
Instead of this, she threw a birthday party on November 28 at the exclusive Casa Cruz restaurant in Notting Hill, West London.
Egg on her face: The article includes a string of quotes from the pop star about how she was ‘being patient like everyone’ – despite being caught on the day itself leaving a restaurant with a mass of friends and family, breaking the rules in the process and paying a £10k fine [pictured on November 23]
For this she apologised with the following statement: ‘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.’
She paid the hefty £10k fine for breaching these protocols, having been reported to the police, who investigated the restaurant, which, to any passers-by, looked to be closed up.
The chat took place in early November, in which she said of her lockdown experience: ‘I’m being patient – getting through it like everyone!’
She was, on Saturday, forced into another grovelling apology for breaching strict coronavirus rules, amid the latest embarrassment.
She said: ‘I recently flew to Egypt to perform at a corporate event for a private company, where my travel party followed protocol and presented negative Covid tests upon entry, as required by Egyptian authorities.
‘Upon my return to Britain, I should have followed Government advice and isolated myself for the required period. As you know, I didn’t follow Government advice and… I apologise again, unreservedly.
‘While I realise the apologetic words of a pop star might not carry much weight, especially one who has broken the rules like I have, I do realise some might seek to follow my example.
I will never let you down? The Mail On Sunday revealed that prior to her birthday the singer flew by private jet to Cairo on November 21 to perform at the five-star W Hotel
‘My message to them is simple: please don’t. The guilt and shame I’ve carried this week for my mistake aren’t worth it. Instead, continue to listen to the Government advice and the voices of the heroes of the NHS and take the required precautions.’
She added: ‘I hope to one day make it up to the public who have given me so much support over the years and, in particular, make it up to the heroes of the NHS…
‘In the meantime, I will be donating my fee from Egypt to charity. Be better than I have been and learn from my mistakes so you don’t have to learn the hard way yourselves.’
According to a source, Egyptian President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi was among those at the party at the W Hotel, possibly to celebrate his 66th birthday which was two days earlier.
‘She’s only sorry she got caught’: Piers Morgan slammed Rita’a apology on GMB on Tuesday
A spokesman for the singer said she had been hired by the W Hotel and had neither met nor been aware of the presence of Mr Sisi. The Egyptian Government did not respond to a request for comment.
A spokesman for the star, estimated to be worth £10 million, said she and her team had all subsequently tested negative for coronavirus.
Earlier this week, Piers Morgan slammed Rita for the incident. The Good Morning Britain presenter insisted the singer was simply sorry she got caught.
Piers, 55, asked, ‘What does her mum think about this?’ as he reminded viewers that her mother Vera returned to the frontline to work for the NHS amid the pandemic.
He said: ‘This Rita Ora thing annoyed me because suddenly she’s “deeply sorry” and volunteered to pay the £10,000 fine – which will barely touch the sides of her pocket money.
He asked: ‘What is she “deeply sorry” about? She knew what she was doing, we are in a national lockdown – it’s not a secret!’
‘What is she “deeply sorry” about? She knew what she was doing, we are in a national lockdown – it’s not a secret!
‘She’s a very rich pop star and she deliberately planned a 30th birthday party – I don’t know what the restaurant was thinking, so how are you able to do that? And why were you doing that?’
He added: ‘You plan a 30th birthday like that, you turn up, invite all your famous buddies, you party and have a great night – the police come and bang on the door.
‘If they’re all doing that, if the rules aren’t for them, then what’s the point of the rules?
I’m sorry: Rita offered an apology on social media on Monday and said she felt ‘particularly embarrassed’
‘”I’m deeply sorry”, what about? You’re not deeply sorry – you’re deeply sorry you got caught! That’s what you’re “deeply sorry” about.
‘If you hadn’t been caught would you be issuing a statement saying: “I’ve just woken up and realised what I did was terribly wrong and I’m deeply sorry?”‘
Piers noted that Rita has said in her statement that lockdown was about to end and so she thought it would be fine.
He said: ‘So you knew there was a lockdown, otherwise you wouldn’t have thought it was about to come to an end.’
Adding: ‘She’s a very rich pop star and she deliberately planned a 30th birthday party – I don’t know what the restaurant was thinking, so how are you able to do that? And why were you doing that?’
Guest list: Cara Delevingne was one of the people who attended the bash [pictured February 2020]
Susanna Reid added: ‘Also, even when lockdown comes to an end it’s still against the rules to have 30 people come together.’
Piers later said: ‘Her mother’s a health worker! She spent most of the first wave of the pandemic speaking about her pride for the health service.
“She even launched a coronavirus range of clothing saying “stop the spread”… And then she invites  of her mates for her lockdown-breaking 30th birthday.
‘It’s exhausting keeping up with these people, it’s just so selfish.’
Make your mind up: Rita launched a coronavirus range of clothing saying ‘stop the spread’ earlier in the year
Police were called to Rita’s party and the Met Police gave a statement to MailOnline.
Key points in COVID lockdown Mark 2
- People can only leave their homes for specific reasons, such as to do essential shopping, for outdoor exercise, and for work if they are unable to work from home.
- In general, you must not meet with another person socially or undertake any activities with another person. You must not meet socially indoors with family or friends unless they are part of your household or support bubble.
- Non-essential shops will be told to shut
- Restaurants and bars will be told to close unless they can operate a takeaway service.
- Travel abroad is only permitted for ‘essential’ reasons such as work, people can still return to the UK from abroad.
- Leisure centres, gyms, sporting venues, hairdressers and beauty parlours will have to close, although professional sport will continue.
- Key businesses that cannot operate remotely – such as construction – should carry on as before.
- Places of worship can stay open for private prayer. Funerals are limited to close family only.
- Exercise is permitted with no limits on frequency, but organised sports – including outdoor activities such as golf – will not be permitted.
They said: ‘Police were called at 21:10hrs on Saturday, 28 November to reports of a potential breach of Covid regulations at a commercial premises in Clarendon Road, W11.
‘Officers attended and carried out enquiries at the scene. They found no record of any offence being committed.’
Notting Hill restaurant Casa Cruz is named after Chilean-born Juan Santa Cruz, who resigned as restaurateur in February.
Nicholas Fallows, who is listed as the sole director of Casa Cruz London Ltd, insisted he was unaware of the event.
Francois Perrodo, 43, who with mother Carrie are among Britain’s richest business bosses with their £5.8billion fortune, is the majority shareholder in Casa Cruz.
Mr Perrodo is a businessman and racing car driver and has competed in a number of races in his birth country of France.
His fortune comes from the oil and gas industry and he is the chairman of the Anglo-French company Perenco, which was founded by his late father Hubert.
A source told MailOnline: ‘He had absolutely no idea this was being held there.’
The director of the restaurant also said they were in the dark on who had approved the party, deepening the mystery over who gave it the go-ahead.
A day prior to Piers’ remarks, Lorraine Kelly waded into the debate.
On Monday it was her own birthday, and , she spoke to Piers and Susanna as they linked from the GMB studio to the Lorraine studio.
Susanna said: ‘It’s a shame we can’t come give you a hug and a kiss, although you’re probably glad you can’t get one from Piers. Are you having a small get together?’
‘Yeah, it’s just what everyone is doing apart from Rita Ora,’ Lorraine replied.
In pictures obtained by The Sun, Cara and Poppy Delevingne as well as TOWIE star Vas Morgan, 31, and Rita’s sister Elena, 32, were seen at the venue.
Doing her bit: Rita’s mother Vera returned to the NHS frontline amid the COVID-19 pandemic in March. The healthcare professional is a psychiatrist and former GP
Rita was also spotted leaving the building while wearing a slinky wrap skirt and black face mask.
A source told the publication: ‘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.’
Guidelines brought in with the lockdown on November 5 stated that people must ‘not meet socially indoors with family or friends unless they are part of your household, meaning the people you live with, or your support bubble’.
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