Rita Ora’s Team Paid Restaurant To Break Lockdown Rules For Her Birthday Party
Rita Ora’s team offered a restaurant £5,000 to break lockdown rules for her 30th birthday, according to police in a new report by BBC.
The pop star’s security team also asked for CCTV cameras to be turned off during the party at Casa Cruz, in Notting Hill, on 28 November, amid the second virus lockdown.
CCTV hard drives were wiped two days later, a licensing hearing at Kensington and Chelsea Council heard. Rita Ora declined to comment. She has previously apologised for the party.
The 30-year-old flew to Egypt for a private performance on 21 November. On her return the following day, she should have isolated for two weeks.
Instead, she threw a birthday party in London, which violated lockdown rules that prevented households from mixing indoors.
Ora has said she “deserved criticism” for her actions, and would donate her fee from the concert to charity. Her team did not want to comment about the latest revelations, which emerged during a license review for Casa Cruz.
The general manager at Casa Cruz, Scottie Bhattarai, told police he was contacted by a representative of the singer on the day of the party.
In a statement to police, Bhattarai said he had accepted the offer “because he was greedy”. He was “fully aware the event breached coronavirus regulations”, Holland said.
Bhattarai said he began admitting guests at about 19:00 GMT. Between 15 and 20 people were at the venue at the party’s peak, at about 21.00, he said.
However, Holland said officers arrived at the venue after 21:10 but “were not afforded access”.
Police said they found that Casa Cruz’s CCTV hard drives were blank two days later, with no footage available from the previous month. Officers said the devices had either been reformatted or the hard-drives had been replaced.
The venue is accused of breaching licensing rules by not allowing police into the premises and failing to provide them with CCTV footage.
It is also alleged that Casa Cruz locked fire doors during the party, a breach of health and safety regulations. The licensing committee is considering whether to revoke the license of the restaurant.
Bhattarai is also subject to a criminal investigation, while four party-goers were issued fines at the time. Their identities have not been revealed.