Rita Ora has issued a grovelling apology for breaking coronavirus restrictions by hosting a party to mark her 30th birthday. The Poison singer was seen arriving at Casa Cruz restaurant in London's Notting Hill on Saturday night, dressed in a silver dress and fur coat for the bash. Current lockdown rules have banned social gatherings and mixing of households between November 5 and December 2 following a surge in infections of Covid-19.
The sight of Rita and guests - including socialite sisters Cara and Poppy Delevingne, who were seen leaving at the end of the night - has infuriated fans who have branded the party-goers 'selfish' and 'egocentric.' Rita's older sister Elena, 32, was also pictured leaving the party on Saturday along with TOWIE star Vas Morgan.
In pictures obtained by The Sun, Elena and Vas were seen heading out through the back door clutching bottles of booze - including Rita's own brand tequila. A man was also seen entering the venue during the bash clutching what appeared to be bags of ice for drinks. After the pictures emerged, furious fans hit out on social media prompting Rita to issue an apology.
In a statement she 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.
"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."
Sources say Rita has voluntarily paid a £10,000 (Sh1.3million) fine after speaking to police officers this morning. During the night, two officers were seen making a visit to the restaurant. They were seen peering through the windows and trying to open a heavy-duty security door.
A Met Police spokesperson told The Sun: "Police were called at 9.10pm on Saturday to reports of a potential breach of Covid regulations in W11."
A source told the paper that Rita and her sister had been seen arriving at 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," they claimed.
Angry fans have taken to Twitter to slam Rita and her guests as 'selfish' for their disregard of the rules.
"Rita Ora that is so not cool of you hosting a party in lockdown - very selfish behaviour - do you think u above the law - shameful really," fumed one.
"30-years-old and behaving like a spoilt child! You don’t think the COVID lockdown rules apply to you? You’re happy to risk spreading the disease for your own selfish vanity? Shame on you!!!" added another.
A third upset fan raged: "A colleague’s mum just died and then I see your selfish, nonsensical and egocentric behaviour. Maybe you should take a trip to your local ICU, care home etc. What the hell were you thinking!"
Current rules have banned social gatherings and mixing of households between November 5 and December 2 following a surge in infections of Covid-19. Restaurants were asked to remain closed with the exception of providing takeaway meals to customers. Mirror Online has contacted representatives and the MET police for comment.
Rita was also accused of breaking the rules during the last lockdown by moving to the Cotswolds. The singer said she had been using her time in the pandemic to work on her third album and catch up on sleep.
"The studio is my safe haven. I’m very lucky to have space to create and make music in isolation," she explained at the time.