Rita Ora fined $12k for having a birthday party in London

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Rita Ora is among the celebrity brain trust that believes that they are exempt from COVID. Like the Kardashians and Cardi B, Rita thought her birthday would provide immunity from the virus. Rita hosted a crowd of around 30 people in a restaurant in West London while the whole of London was still in lockdown. After getting caught and fined 10,000 pounds ($12K US), Rita issued an apology claiming it was a spur of the moment decision. She checked all the boxes in her public apology by citing errors in judgement, irresponsible actions and knowing the devastation of the virus first hand. If she’d truly meant all that, she wouldn’t have had a party in the first place. Here is Rita’s full “apology”:

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According to TMZ, Rita “voluntarily” paid her fine. I’m sure somebody told her she owed it and she paid it without being dragged to court, but I don’t know if that makes it voluntary. I don’t believe that Rita got a restaurant mandated to shut down except for take-away to open on the spur of the moment. She must have told the restaurant, Casa Cruz, that she’d pay their penalties up front and they were probably desperate enough to agree. That doesn’t let them off the hook, but it does show how little celebrities think of others. The entire apology reeks of the adage “it’s easier to apologize than ask permission.” I mentioned last week – and am still furious at our governor – for attending a birthday party at French Laundry against his own guidelines a few weeks ago. He did the same thing, apologized, said he was in the wrong and made a terrible decision. I like Gov Newsom well enough, but I am absolutely convinced he went to that party knowing it was wrong and with the intention of issuing that bs apology afterwards. Rita, on the other hand, thought she wouldn’t get caught.

In addition to Rita, actor Laurence Fox also hosted a large lunch with friends this past weekend, bragging about it on social media and also getting sternly admonished by Boris Johnson publicly. At least Rita apologized. Fox, on the other hand, tweeted about hugging his friends and encouraged people to break lockdown to stick it to the NHS because “compliance is violence” (his words).

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Photo credit: Instagram

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61 Responses to “Rita Ora fined $12k for having a birthday party in London”

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  1. Lemons says:

    It makes me pretty sad that my mother and I had to come to the decision last night that I probably shouldn’t fly back home from France to the US early December for Christmas. It’s been a year since I’ve seen my family and I would give anything to go back and quarantine at home with them, but I’m scared of those who will travel without any care for their fellow man.

    So f– you, Rita. F– you, Laurence. I’m so tired of your selfishness and ignorance that has kept us all from living normal lives.

    • Noodle says:

      @lemons, I’m so sorry. It’s hard not to be able to be with your family because of selfish jerks. How are things in France now? I was reading about huge spikes in cases in Belgium and Austria a bit earlier.

      • Léna says:

        As a french and it’s my personnal opinion as someone who has parents working in covid units right now, things are worse than in March/April. But french people don’t care and will probably object getting vaccined. I’m so done

    • SarSte says:

      Sending you love, Lemons. I made the same decision myself this weekend – I won’t be able to travel back to western Canada from the UK this month because of the risk it poses. Partially because of idiots like Rita and Laurence, partially being my home province is currently ruled by Trump-Lite, who has let the virus run rampant. I am incandescent with rage, but can only imagine how those who have lost loved ones through all of this feel.

      • NorthernGirl says:

        So you’re from Alberta? Yeah, my husband and I just shake our head when it comes to Kenney. We had to turn off the tv during his last news conference because we were getting so angry. He really is Trump Lite.

      • SarSte says:

        @NorthernGirl – bingo. He is a repulsive human, with the added danger of (unfortunately) being more shrewd than Trump. Hope you and yours are doing okay.

    • Hmppyy says:

      Hi lemons- I’m so sorry. I’m not sure if this helps, but if it is very important to you to quarantine with your family, there are ways to get around it safely. Flights from Europe to the US are practically empty right now and pose less risk than going to the grocery store (I had to go btw the continents earlier this fall and had 5 rows to myself). Flights in the US…a trickier story, greatly influenced by route and airline. You could fly home, quarantine in an Airbnb, and then wait 5 days to get tested, after which point it would be safe to stay with your fam. Everyone’s level of comfort is different, just wanted you to know it’s not impossible to do it safely if it is important for your mental health.

      • Noodle says:

        @hmppyy, co-sign your post. I will add, though, that the US is dang near contagion point in many areas. If people come here, they will encounter shut down everything. I don’t know how people feel about being stuck inside a house with family members (with an occasional trip to the Whole Foods parking lot to have groceries thrown into the trunk), but things are looking really grim here. Also, there is a very real possibility that if you come, you may not be able to return home for a good stretch. I know the decision is not an easy one and it’s so hard to know what is the right thing to do — I just want to put out there the reality of This American Life. (Cue bald eagle screeches).

      • Arpeggi says:

        Yes but it still poses an added risk to everyone else involved in our travels: the flight attendants, the airport employees, etc. This is also why we really ought to limit our travels to what is absolutely necessary. It really sucks to spend the holidays far from your loved ones, but it’s still not an emergency and there are other ways to still be with them even if it’s not physically

    • Cerise says:

      Oh @lemons, I feel your pain so much… haven’t seen my mom in 9 months and she has been very ill so although it’s torture being apart I couldn’t forgive myself if I put her in danger.
      My family and I have been like hermits since March, we have barely left the house and always with mask/gloves/visor and extreme precautions and we still managed to get infected so I won’t be taking my chances on a flight.
      Sending you big hugs and praying you will be able to see your family soon!

    • clomo says:

      We were planning to move over there from the U.S last summer but all things have gone totally sideways in my life because of this and it’s a major pisser having my life plans put on hold. I also am very aware that my suffering is nothing compared to what others are going through because of this and feel guilty whining about it. I have always had nomadic urges and want to travel and getter bored staying in one place and would love a vacation but I take these viruses very seriously and am in full hibernation mode, it’s appalling how much better off we would be if people took this seriously. It feels like we are being ruled by the uneducated these days.

    • Bebe says:

      I’m in the same boat. My parents have met my 16 month old daughter once and I’m expecting my second in February. We live in the North down the street from a hospital and it is just heartbreaking to see how many people are still dying even if it is “better” on paper here in France.

      I so wish people would just take it seriously. Makes me so angry.

    • Louisa says:

      I’m in New York and my mum is living alone in Scotland. I haven’t seen her for 16 months and it’s killing me that I can’t go and spend Christmas with her. So yeah F you Rita.

  2. Noodle says:

    I know we see it a lot within the judicial system where there’s a separate system for the wealthy than that for normal folks, but I really wish there was a way to get through to people who flaunt their privilege so publicly. While Rita and her friends may get sick from this event, they will likely recover. The grandmother of their server or the immunocompromised child of the valet may not. I’m so sick and tired of the privilege while the rest of us sit at home for more months on end. I’m not a punitive person generally, but I want to punish these people, mostly celebs, who do whatever they want with absolutely no regard for the care of others. It’s sickening and selfish.

    • helonearth says:

      In some countries they take into account the person’s income when they pay a fine. I wish this was the case in all countries.

  3. Noki says:

    Wow thats a steep fine,is that the standard in London or is that the celebrity fine?

    • Jane says:

      There’s a sliding scale starting at your first offence and going from there. Universities have issued over £170k fines to students across the UK for breaking the rules.

    • heygingersnaps says:

      It’s classed as an illegal gathering and the police in England can issue a fixed penalty notice to people aged 18 and over starting at £200 per person for the first offence, £400 for the first offence and then doubling for each further offence up to a maximum of £6400. Large parties can be fined up to £10,000. Businesses can also be fined for breaching coronavirus restrictions.

  4. Jane says:

    I hope everyone who attended her party, and Laurence Fox’s lunch, get fined. Celebrities may be able to afford £10k for themselves without worrying about it too much,, but can they afford to cover everyone else as well? We’re having enough problems with compliance in the UK without this sort of nonsense encouraging people to break the rules.

    • mynameispearl says:

      I think there’s a large fine for the organiser of a gathering, and a smaller fine for each of the attendees, so I’m assuming that 10K is the total amount.

      Rita Ora is such a mystery, her PR people must be fabulous the way she keeps appearing in the media all the time, regardless of the fact that she hasn’t released a single in… actually no idea! Bizarre.

      Rita is an asshole, but why did the restaurant even accept this booking also! As IF this wouldn’t be made public.

      • theothercleo says:

        I feel exactly the same about her PR. Or is Rita Ora actually a massive popstar and I’m the only one who’s not aware of it? I don’t now anyone who actually listens to her music but somehow she’s super rich,gets invited everywhere,has contracts with a lot of brands and can get Mick Jagger and Michael Caine to wish her a happy birthday. It’s such a strange and mysterious thing to me.

      • mynameispearl says:

        It’s super weird, she did have some singles years ago, but she seems to now just be a socialite who gets loads of PR.

        She has loads of famous friends, but yeah its the weirdest thing! She just popped up on an ad for EE. How is she getting these gigs lol. She must have the hardest working team in showbiz ha

      • mona says:

        Yes! My sister and I are baffled.

        She hasn’t ever had a hit in forever yet she is on every lipgloss and phone advert here in the UK. Admittedly there are more mediocre artists and socialites out there though the amount of press she gets is bizarre for the little she does actually do.

        As for the 10k fine, its pennies to a woman like her and I also think it is very likely that she arranged a “fine fee” with the restaurant beforehand. Probably paid them extra for the eventual fine the establishment would incur in and in the meantime advertised to other millionaires where they can have their next “f*ck the rules” soirée…black tie obviously.

    • heygingersnaps says:

      the £10k fine is for the organisers, the charge for breaching national lockdown restrictions for people 18 and above is is £200 per person (halved to £100 if paid within 14 days) for the first offence and then it doubles for each further offence up to a maximum of £6400.
      Fox and his ilk needs to be ignored and not given the attention that they need. Twitter should ban him like what they did to his female counterpart, hopkins.

  5. heygingersnaps says:

    I really hope she didn’t blew her candles out (but I’m not holding my breath).
    When my son had his birthday this year (he turned 4), I sliced the cake into portions & serve them in separate plates, the only one with the candles on where on his portion to avoid contamination. This was during summer and we had a socially distanced picnic in the garden with just his aunt, us his parents and his grandparents. Then when it was my partner’s birthday we just popped by to his parents place to drop off their slice of his birthday cake, opened his presents and we went back home and had a takeaway with his sister. My point is, we adjusted how we celebrate birthdays and other holidays accordingly in response to a pandemic.

  6. Ariel says:

    Everyone who hosts or attends one of these should be, by law, barred from seeking medical care for the virus, and financially responsible for medical care for those who get it second hand because these people spread it around any party.

  7. greenmonster says:

    All that decorations in the spur of the moment? “Small” gathering of 30 (!!!) people in the spur of the moment? Sure Jan.

    I don’t understand why it is so hard for adults to not celebrate their birthday with a large group of friends this year?!? Even if you turn 30 or 40… Jesus, just sit this one out!

    • CommentingBunny says:

      Yeah, that cake wasn’t baked and decorated on a whim.

    • lucy2 says:

      Exactly! You don’t have a fully decorated party with a customized cake and a large guest list on the “spur of the moment.” Spar us your lies, Rita.
      I don’t think the fine is steep enough. Maybe these people should also have to do community service. Down at the local morgue maybe?

      Also, just because your dumb celebrity friend invites you to a gather, you don’t have to go. All of those people who gladly joined in are just as bad as the host.

  8. janey says:

    I’m really having a hard time with this, especially Lawrence Fox. I can’t decide if he actually means this nonsense or if he’s doing it for attention. He’s apparently started a political party (can’t remember the name) but as someone who has worked for the NHS almost my entire career I want to punch him square in his smug face.

    • heygingersnaps says:

      I suspect he’s doing it for attention and money. He had a paypal account for people to chip in and when that didn’t work, he went and setup his own party. There’s money to be had in the far right that’s why some people sell their souls for it.
      I’m surrounded by people in the healthcare profession, my mum’s a nurse, my sister and several cousins are nurses. I grew up with my mum’s colleagues and some of them are still working in a hospital. My mum tested positive around July and had to move out and quarantine in a separate area so as to prevent infecting others including my sister who is an icu nurse. The blatant disregard of some people for the health of others, whinging about masks and protesting about their liberties being somehow curtailed is just annoying and tiresome at the same time. I hope if they ever get sick that they won’t sick medical attention seeing as they have little regard for the healthcare industry.

      • Zaftig_and_Kitty says:

        But Laurence Fox has a FREEDOM tattoo on his hand! He’s fighting for it, and the truth, you guys (need sarcasm font).

      • Jules says:

        @Zaftig_and_Kitty- yea, these social justice warriors are just showing off for attention, but they have no clue

    • Mouki's wife says:

      I wonder about Fox too. I wonder if he needs an intervention for his mental health or if he’s just nuts?

    • julia says:

      Between his racist views, pro-Brexit stance, and his consipracy theories on Coronavirus, I was wondering if he wasn’t suffering from more serious metal health problems.

      He’s starting to sound completely mad, almost reminds me of the crazy tirades of Kanye (except in his case he has been disagnosed with bipolar disorder for years).

    • Scal says:

      Right wing trolls who know how to play the system get $$$. He’s doing it for money and attention-it’s not like anything is going on with his acting career.

      How on earth Billie Piper was married to this jerk I’ll never understand.

  9. Zaftig_and_Kitty says:

    I wouldn’t put it past her doing this on purpose, just for attention. She’s an attention whore (and bad at it!). She really needs to stop trying to happen.

    • Noki says:

      She really hasnt landed well has she? She was suppose to come for Rihannas crown lol

      • Zaftig_and_Kitty says:

        She’s a massive fail. Remember when she crapped the bed with her “if I get 100,000 retreats I’ll drop my single” and only got, like, 2000 and then said she was hacked. Ugh.

  10. NotHeidisGirl says:

    I‘m so sick and tired of these fucking twats who think the rules don’t apply to them because they are rich and can pay their way out of it and then pretend they are so sorry (but only because they got caught).
    Meanwhile I‘m going to have to spend christmas on my own while stupid people keep being stupid.

    • BnLurkN4eva says:

      I have to be on my own too this Christmas because my parents are out of the country and they can’t come and I can’t go if we wish to be safe. People like this makes it difficult for everyone and cause this virus to spread farther thereby keeping the current state of things in place longer.

  11. Vanden says:

    Has she been fined? The Council have confirmed that they have received no such payment from her and it is the restaurant that is likely to get the fine, not her.

    She was a selfish idiot. Laurence Fox on the other fox is just attention seeking, racist whiny trash whether he had that gathering or not

  12. Darla says:

    these celebrities aren’t the ones extending the pandemic and making us all suffer longer. Not because they would give a isht if they were, they would not, but because there aren’t enough of them. Every weekend I read about large parties some in clubs, some private, being broken up by the NY Police dept. And those are the ones they catch. It’s regular people folks. It’s your neighbors. It’s my idiot family.

    • Noodle says:

      @darla, I agree that the large bulk of the cases are normal jerks, non-celebrity variety. That said, when young people see their favorite celebrities out at clubs or hosting parties, they’re encouraged by this behavior. If Kendall can do it, why can’t I?

      A week or two ago Newsome instituted a curfew to keep people out of bars in California. The next night starting at 10:01pm, there was a protest with 1000 maskless idiots screaming about their rights being infringed upon. Because they no longer can go to a bar after 10pm. I’ll let you guess the political affiliation and which flags were waving as they screamed all over each other.

  13. Mina_Esq says:

    Garbage people.

  14. Peet33 says:

    As a Brit I hadn’t heard of either of these stunts and now I am HOPPING mad. I have to say that Lawrence Fox turning into the male version of Katie Hopkins is one of the things I couldn’t have predicted about this year, although his promised pathetic excuse for a political party never seemed to materialise did it? Thank god Billie Piper dumped his arse, although if I were her I’d worry about letting his see the kids if he is going round hugging people on purpose just to ‘stick it to the NHS’. (And the fact he still has friends to hug in the first place really just astonishes me). I’m torn British celebitches, on the one hand he is such an obvious troll and all the best thing to do would be to ignore him, on the other he really is the most pathetic piece of s**t.

  15. Annaloo. says:

    Rita ora is a nobody. Now she’s a stupid nobody. Hope she likes this shade of limelight.

  16. Jules says:

    Hey everyone, it’s my birthday so the world should stop and bow down to me. Eye roll. These photos are so gaudy and ostentatious. Cut those gross nails and wake the F up.

  17. Lunasf17 says:

    At least she actually apologized (I’m doubting it was actually sincere but whatever). So sick of these entitled celebs who are above the rules. We truly don’t deserve our healthcare workers with the way we are acting. It’s enraging.

  18. detritus says:

    When the only penalty for a crime is a fee, then the crime only exists for those who are not wealthy.

  19. Mindy_Dopple says:

    There are some people who simply just believe the rules don’t apply to them or don’t care what the repercussions are. We shouldn’t be surprised when it’s famous people who do it because guess what? They’re narcissists! That’s how they got into this profession, same with politicians. I’ve had to make peace and it’s so hurtful and hard with the fact that my sister is one as well. She lives in a metropolitan TX city and has just decided she’s not going to stop living her life at all while the pandemic is tearing apart the city and the state. Still going to conventions, going on vacation, etc. I wasn’t able to go to Thanksgiving (I live halfway across the country) due to their lack of safety precautions – no one offered to quarantine or assure my safety – this is on top of finding out I’m pregnant – which means my immune system is compromised. It hurt my feelings but luckily I have a wonderful friend support system, I pray that my husband who is a doctor doesn’t contract it at work and I have a wonderful therapist who is helping me work through forgiving myself for putting myself first for once.

  20. mickan says:

    Stupid people are stupid.

  21. Hinthint says:

    Fashion police should have fined her for that abomination of an outfit as well. Puh-lease, she planned it down to the last detail, including that hideous thing she was wearing. Narcissists always think they’re above the rules.

  22. Mar says:

    What does Rita Ora do for a living to live so lavishly? She has has maybe 2 hit songs and had a handful of minimal acting parts.

  23. Zengirl says:

    How stupid! But really, all I’ve got to say is: Yum! Hairspray and cake!

  24. SomeChick says:

    This all really makes me think less of Jay-Z.

    Unless I’m remembering wrong. Wasn’t she the reason for the elevator alterction?

  25. vesper nite says:

    Oh man Laurence Fox was an actor I really enjoyed. As an American I had no idea he was such a horrible person! So disappointing, what a POS!

  26. O says:

    Agree with everything said but I just want to add that she looks like a lizard person who is uncomfortable in their human skin suit.

  27. Bevbimsley says:

    Can we please stop attacking our own? I personally dont care that Gavin Newsome had a party or Nancy Pelosi got a haircut. Okay and? They work hard for us give them a break please