Rita Ora 'PAYS £10,000 Covid fine' and apologises over party

Rita Ora ‘PAYS £10,000 Covid fine’ and apologises for ‘inexcusable error of judgement’ after holding lockdown-flouting 30th birthday bash at Notting Hill restaurant where staff today refused to open door to police

  • The singer, 30, reportedly invited friends to a party in London on Saturday 
  • Current guidelines state that restaurants should be shut, apart from takeaways
  • People outside their household bubbles are also not supposed to meet indoors
  • Billionaire Francois Perrodo is the majority shareholder of the restaurant
  • The racing driver and oil tycoon had no idea the event was taking place there  

Rita Ora this morning apologised for breaking coronavirus lockdown rules for her lavish 30th birthday restaurant party as it was today investigated by police.

In a message to fans she said sorry for the ‘serious and inexcusable error of judgement’ as a source confirmed she voluntarily paid a £10,000 fine over the event.

The singer was initially reported to have invited 30 friends to the restaurant in Notting Hill, West London, to mark the occasion with the group partying ‘until the early hours’ – but sources close to her suggested the number was actually seven.

MetropolitanPolice officers had been called to Casa Cruz in West London on Saturday night at 9pm but at the time found no evidence.

But following further information today the force continued their investigation, but without success.

Staff inside the restaurant seemed oblivious to officers’ efforts to get in this morning.

Rita said: ‘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. 

Claims: Rita Ora has been accused of flouting lockdown rules at a 30th birthday on Saturday

Rita Ora this morning apologised for breaking coronavirus lockdown rules

A police woman investigates near Rita Ora’s house in West London today

Police knocked at the door today but were not let in by staff who were inside the restaurant

Officers are still investigating the potential Covid regulations breach today after the weekend

Police attempts to get an answer at the restaurant today were might by silence at the door

‘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.’

A source close to Ora told MailOnline: ‘Rita knows her actions were wrong which is why she has voluntarily paid the £10,000 fine to the council. She hopes this will go some way to making up for her error of judgement.’

It came as Kensington and Chelsea Council confirmed it too was investigating the party.

A spokesman said: ‘We are aware of the reports and will be investigating them with the premises.’  

Meanwhile residents living near the restaurant today told of their anger at the ‘selfish’ singer who apparently ignored the government restrictions to celebrate her birthday.

A man in his fifties whose home overlooks the restaurant said: ‘I hoped they are fined the maximum amount by the council. What is the point of having rules if they are going to be broken just because someone wants to hold a party.’

Another near neighbour, who lives on a council estate, adjacent to the restaurant added:’ It is one rule for the rich and the rest of us can stay in line. I didn’t hear anything on Saturday but they should not have held the party. 

Casa Cruz’s majority stakeholder is Francois Perrodo, who had no idea about the party

Big day: The singer has been celebrating her 30th in style over the weekend, with a source claiming that the event on Saturday night ‘went on until the early hours’ (pictured on Thursday)

Key points in COVID lockdown Mark 2 

  • People can only leave their homes for specific reasons, such as to do essential shopping, for outdoor exercise, and for work if they are unable to work from home.
  • In general, you must not meet with another person socially or undertake any activities with another person. You must not meet socially indoors with family or friends unless they are part of your household or support bubble. 
  • Non-essential shops will be told to shut
  • Restaurants and bars will be told to close unless they can operate a takeaway service. 
  • Travel abroad is only permitted for ‘essential’ reasons such as work, people can still return to the UK from abroad. 
  • Leisure centres, gyms, sporting venues, hairdressers and beauty parlours will have to close, although professional sport will continue. 
  • Key businesses that cannot operate remotely – such as construction – should carry on as before.
  • Places of worship can stay open for private prayer. Funerals are limited to close family only.   
  • Exercise is permitted with no limits on frequency, but organised sports – including outdoor activities such as golf – will not be permitted. 

‘Everyone is tired of this lockdown, but it is there because it can save lives. Ora and the others were just being selfish.’

It came as it was confirmed the billionaire owner of the restaurant where the star allegedly had the party had no idea the event was taking place. 

Francois Perrodo, 43, who with mother Carrie are among Britain’s richest business bosses with their £5.8billion fortune, is the majority shareholder in Casa Cruz.  

Mr Perrodo is a businessman and racing car driver and has competed in a number of races in his birth country of France.

His fortune comes from the oil and gas industry and he is the chairman of the Anglo-French company Perenco, which was founded by his late father Hubert.

A source told MailOnline this morning: ‘He had absolutely no idea this was being held there.’

The director of the restaurant also said they were in the dark on who had approved the party, deepening the mystery over who gave it the go-ahead. 

Thirty people allegedly attended the secret bash on Saturday, which is named after Chile-born Juan Santa Cruz, who was the restaurateur originally behind the eatery. 

Casa Cruz’s director Nicholas Fallows insisted on Sunday he too had not been aware of any plans for an event and the restaurant was ‘owned by shareholders’.

MailOnline can disclose it is owned by a firm called Casa Cruz London Limited.

At least 75 per cent of that belongs to Casa Cruz Holdings Limited, which Francois Perrodo is the majority shareholder with three-quarters of the stake.

His brother Bertrand and wine tycoon sister Nathalie are the only other people listed as having significant control of the firm.

It comes as the government again stressed the importance of abiding by restrictions on Sunday, ahead of the UK’s second national lockdown ending on December 2.

In pictures obtained by The Sun, Cara and Poppy Delevingne as well as TOWIE star Vas Morgan, 31, and Rita’s sister Elena, 32, are seen at the venue.

During the night, police officers were pictured outside at the eatery as they peered into windows and tried to open one metal door. 

Rita was also spotted leaving the building while wearing a slinky wrap skirt and black face mask. 

A source told the publication: ‘Rita and her sister came to the restaurant first, all dolled up and clearly looking forward to a good night.

‘There were a number of guests, all dressed up very glamorously, and everyone entered the building through the back, with security watching the front to make sure no one else went in. It went on until the early hours.’

MailOnline has contacted Rita Ora, Cara and Poppy Delevingne, Vas J Morgan and Casa Cruz’s representatives for a comment. 

The restaurant’s director Nicholas Fallows also told The Sun that he hadn’t been aware of any plans for an event and the restaurant was ‘owned by shareholders’. 

Earlier the Met Police confirmed they had been called out on Saturday night to reports of a potential COVID-19 regulations breach in the area. 

Guestlist? It is thought that Cara Delevingne was one of the people who attended the bash (pictured February 2020)

They told MailOnline: Police were called at 21:10hrs on Saturday, 28 November to reports of a potential breach of Covid regulations at a commercial premises in Clarendon Road, W11.

Officers attended and carried out enquiries at the scene. They found no record of any offence being committed.’ 

Current government guidelines say that people ‘minimise the time spent outside their home’ and avoid meeting others who they do not live with.

People should also avoid physical contact; being close and face-to-face; and shouting or singing close to others who do not share a home with you or who are not in the same support bubble.

Guidelines brought in with the national lockdown on November 5 also state that people must ‘not meet socially indoors with family or friends unless they are part of your household, meaning the people you live with, or your support bubble’. 

Friends: Another said to have received an invite is actress Poppy Delevingne (pictured on This Morning)

In attendance: Vas J Morgan was also seen leaving the venue in the snaps from Saturday

Restaurants are also currently closed except for takeaway meals, with any breaking of these guidelines possibly ending up with a fine.

The rules are set to change on December 2, with many restrictions being dependent on which Tier the location ends up being in. 

In London restaurants and cafes will be able to open from Wednesday. Pubs and bars can also open, but only if they are operating as restaurants with table service. 

All hospitality venues can only serve alcohol with substantial meals and must stop taking orders at 10pm and close by 11pm, according to the government.  

Rita has been celebrating her 30th birthday in style this week after marking the actual big day during lockdown on Thursday.

British legends: (L-R) Sirs Mick Jagger and Michael Caine also made appearances in a clip to celebrate her big day 

On Sunday she used the occasion as an opportunity to look back on decades past, when she took to Instagram to share a slew of snaps of herself as a child. 

While on Saturday, the star was gifted quite the impressive keepsake – a video featuring an exhaustive list of stars wishing her a happy birthday. 

The singer took to Instagram to share the impressive clip, which included appearances by Mariah Carey, Naomi Campbell, Mick Jagger, Michael Caine, Lionel Richie, and Vjosa Osmani, the acting president of Kosovo – to name a few.   

She was also surprised by her parents, Besnik and Vera, who started off the proceedings by sharing snapshots of the star as a young girl as she celebrated various past birthdays. 

With Stevie Wonder’s timeless classic Happy Birthday playing in the background, such celebrities as Cameron Diaz, Chelsea Handler, Idris Elba, Paris Hilton, Davina McCall, Liam Payne, Sam Smith, and Jonathan Ross also greeted the star. 

After watching the clip with her parents, the birthday girl said: ‘That is a wicked video! Wow. Thank you so much to everyone who did that video. You guys have made me the happiest girl in the world. Thank you so much.’ 

Glamour: A glamorous Mariah Carey was one of the first stars to pop up onscreen in the video

Rita also took the opportunity to look back on decades past on Sunday, when she took to Instagram to share a slew of snaps of herself as a child.

The Girls singer looked adorable in the images, which showed her at various ages as a youngster as she posed with her dad Besnik and 32-year-old sister Elena.

Captioning the shots, Rita wrote: ‘Guess I’ve always sort of been addicted to clothes even as a kid. So grateful to be able to share these with you guys. 

‘Life goes by so fast so live your BEST LIVES even in these times try and find joy even from something like a photograph ❤️.’ 

Celebrating last Thursday, Rita was seen tucking into a creamy two-tier cake with the words ‘happy birthday Rita’ iced onto the front of the cake in pink lettering.

The media personality also appeared to have been gifted some flowers from Dior, judging by a bow which decorated the bouquet.

So adorable: Rita also took the opportunity to look back on decades past on Sunday, when she took to Instagram to share a slew of snaps of herself as a child.

Rita captioned the gallery of snaps: ‘Me and cake and some trousers I couldn’t breathe in. Thank you for all the love it felt weird not doing anything for my bday so being me I dressed up and ate cake…

‘Also clock the hairspray on the table lol anyway thank you for everyone who showed me endless love on my born day I’m forever grateful you all know who you are.

‘Also clock the hairspray on the table lol anyway thank you for everyone who showed me endless love on my born day I’m forever grateful you all know who you are.

;Today I’m going to finish the rest of my cake for breakfast lunch and dinner. Byeeeeeeeeee.’

Rita later shared a video of herself from the same day chatting to the camera, with the sound switched off so that what she was saying was inaudible.

She captioned the clip: ‘I wanna post this, I can’t tell you what I’m saying but I look cute.’

Pure joy: The Girls singer looked happy in the images, which showed her at various ages as a youngster as she posed with her dad Besnik and 32-year-old sister Elena

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