Somehow we almost forgot that Rita Ora totally flouted COVID restrictions for her 30th birthday party — but now more info has come out, and it makes her look even worse.
ICMI, the singer threw herself a nearly 20-person party to celebrate her 30th while the UK was still in lockdown (the party was held at the end of November, when lockdown was supposed to lift on December 2). She then tried to sweep it under the rug by voluntarily paying a fine and an apology for her “inexcusable error of judgment.”
But now, new details have emerged through an investigation into the venue that held the soiree, London’s Casa Cruz. (BTW, while the restaurant holds some responsibility for breaking the rules, it’s Rita’s fault they’re getting investigated at all. Another strike against her.)
UK outlet The Sun obtained statements made to police by Casa Cruz boss Scottie Bhattarai about how the events transpired. He revealed that a representative for the Black Widow artist offered him £5,000 (equivalent to $6,829) to provide a location for “drinks and nibbles.” He explained that most of the staff had been furloughed so he attended the event himself to “facilitate,” admitting he was “greedy.”
Bhattarai told the cops that he was expecting seven guests, but almost 20 had showed up by 9 p.m., including Cara Delevingne and her sister Poppy. (Count this apparent lie to the venue as another strike against Rita, on top of being obviously way too many people inside one place during coronavirus, lockdown or not.)
Not only was the popstar knowingly hosting an illegal gathering, she roped the restaurant into keeping the whole thing under wraps. The police report stated:
“Security for the entourage wanted no recordings of attendees — Rita etc, to be made, hence (Bhattarai) decided to turn off CCTV between 18.00 and 18.30.’”
In addition to having the security footage turned off, one of the cops on the scene claimed the windows were blacked out (though they “peered through gaps to see people at tables,” per The Sun). The doors were locked, and none of the attendees responded when police tried to knock.
All in all, that little “error in judgment” is starting to look like a big ol’ cover up to VERY knowingly evade the UK’s COVID restrictions, throw a large party, and get away with it without anyone ever realizing. Except that neighbors in the area noticed and called the police, and paparazzi managed to get photos of the birthday girl and her guest leaving the venue. Didn’t exactly fly under the radar as planned, huh?
Now, the restaurant is under threat of losing their license and Bhattarai has lost his job… and all Rita had to do was pay a fine, which is steep, but probably didn’t make a dent in her bank account. According to Bhattarai, she hadn’t even paid the promised bribe at the time of his interview!
It’s really just shameful what the rich and famous are allowed to get away with while normal, hard working people pay the price — and that includes the continued spread of the virus due to large gatherings. We doubt Rita will pay any further consequences for this, but we hope people remember this the next time she’s promoting her music career or whatever it is does…
[Image via WENN/Instar]