Singer Boy George admitted to police that he handcuffed a male escort to his bed and threatened him, but was not going to kill him, a court heard on Monday at his trial on false imprisonment charges.

Jurors at the trial of the former Culture Club frontman, being tried under his real name George O'Dowd, were played a recording of his police interview in April 2007.

"I absolutely admit I had him in the handcuffs, so he wouldn't go anywhere while I checked the computer. I certainly wasn't going to kill him, that's hardly going to do my career any good is it?" he told police.

O'Dowd, 47, met Norwegian male escort Audun Carlsen over the Internet and the pair arranged to meet for a pornographic photo shoot.

But the relationship turned sour after O'Dowd became suspicious that Carlsen was hacking into his computer and stealing the photos to use on his Web site.

Carlsen has accused O'Dowd of chaining him up on their second meeting at the singer's east London flat and beating him with a chain.

O'Dowd admitted to police that he had hit Carlsen before, but only through choice.

"You can't spank anyone if they don't want you to," he said, asserting that on the occasion in question he had not punched or assaulted the escort.

"Those are serious handcuffs, there was no reason to beat him up when I'd put him in those," he said.

"I was just so angry. It wasn't about me doing anything, I just wanted to make sure he did not leave my house."

The singer, who is on trial at Snaresbrook Crown Court in east London, told police he then went into the other room to check the computer, and Carlsen's phone, for recent activity.

Ravindra Kumar, the doctor who examined Carlsen after he managed to escape by unscrewing the hook he was handcuffed to, told the court Carlsen had five injuries, including a cut to his left forearm and bruising to the back of his head and right arm.

Asked by prosecuting lawyer Heather Norton if he had made any other observations, Kumar replied: "His face was swollen, especially around the eyelids, both eyelids. The whole face was puffed."

The court heard Carlsen had worn make up and glitter on his face during the photo shoot, but asked by Norton if he could have had an allergic reaction as a result of the make-up, Carlsen replied: "No."

O'Dowd denies the charge of false imprisonment. The case continues.