Unicef fears backlash over Rita Ora’s lockdown breach three months after she appealed for donations to help youngsters hit by coronavirus
- Ora, who turned 30 this month, has helped Unicef to campaign during virus
- But the charity appeared to distance itself from the singer after her refusal to isolate following a jaunt to Egypt to perform for a six-figure sum
- ‘When ambassadors act in their own personal capacity, their views or actions do not necessarily reflect those of or are endorsed by Unicef,’ the charity said
Rita Ora has angered children’s charity Unicef by breaking lockdown rules three months after she appealed for donations to help youngsters hit by Covid-19.
The charity appeared to distance itself from the singer after her refusal to isolate following a jaunt to Egypt to perform for a six-figure sum – revealed exclusively by The Mail on Sunday.
‘When ambassadors act in their own personal capacity, their views or actions do not necessarily reflect those of or are endorsed by Unicef,’ the charity said.
Ms Ora, who turned 30 this month, fronted the biggest-ever appeal by Unicef to help children whose lives were being blighted by the pandemic. But a source at the charity said chiefs feared a backlash after the criticism levelled at her for repeatedly flouting lockdown rules.
Rita Ora threw a birthday party on November 28 at the exclusive Casa Cruz restaurant in Notting Hill, West London, pictured
‘They don’t like any negative press, and Rita jetting off and of course having a birthday party for 30 isn’t great after she begged for donations,’ the source said.
For the summer campaign, the singer used Instagram to invite cash donations, alerting her 16 million followers to the threat posed to the world’s vulnerable children by the pandemic.
She also treated her fans to a ten-minute performance from her home on the social media platform.
Ms Ora has supported Unicef UK since 2013. She came to Britain as an infant when her parents fled her home in Kosovo after the persecution of Albanians there. She grew up in West London near where she now lives.
Last week, this newspaper revealed how the singer flew to Cairo on a private jet for a lucrative performance at a new five-star hotel.
Under Government rules, she should have quarantined for 14 days but six days after she landed in the UK she was caught throwing a 30th birthday party for her friends at an exclusive restaurant.
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
Rita Ora apologises for breaching Covid rules with Egypt corporate gig
‘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 for that I apologised earlier this week. I apologise again, unreservedly. I would like to add that I have been tested subsequently, including today, and remain negative for Covid-19 and the same is true for all members of my immediate family who form my support bubble.
‘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 that 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. I will take the criticisms coming my way because I deserve them. For my part, 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. That is my promise to everyone disappointed in my behaviour. 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. Love, Rita’
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