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 landing herself 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.’
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.
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 received 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.
She was, on Saturday, forced into another grovelling apology for breaching strict coronavirus rules, amid the latest embarrassment.
She posted to social media: ‘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.
‘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.’
Rita Ora 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, she threw a birthday party on November 28 at the exclusive Casa Cruz restaurant in Notting Hill, West London, pictured
Ms Ora was forced to apologise last week after she and around 30 guests, including model Cara Delevingne, were photographed at the event before the end of the second national lockdown on Wednesday.
While the singer said she was ‘deeply sorry’ for her actions and offered to pay a £10,000 fine for hosting the party, she did not mention her trip to Egypt or breaking a second set of strict rules.
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. 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.
Photographs of her performance at the W Hotel show Ms Ora belting out hits dressed in a black dress, stockings and suspenders. The singer, who is openly bisexual, also wore rainbow hair extensions, possibly as a sign of support for the LGBT community.
Gay rights have been curtailed in Egypt since Mr Sisi came to power in 2014. His regime has arrested dozens of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people over allegations of sexual deviance and insulting public morals. Ms Ora’s fee, paid by the W Hotel, included her ‘business expenses’ and the £40-£50,000 cost of the 7,000-mile round trip flight. The hotel recently launched their new venue in Cairo.
In addition to her apology, Ms Ora last night said she would donate any profit from the engagement to charity. In a statement, she told the MoS:
A spokesman for the star, estimated to be worth £10 million, said she and her team had all subsequently tested negative for coronavirus.