Rita Ora has apologised for “breaking the rules” to attend a “small gathering with some friends” to celebrate her 30th birthday.
The pop star reportedly held a private event at Casa Cruz restaurant in Notting Hill, west London, on Saturday.
In a statement posted on Instagram, Ora said she made a “spur of the moment decision” with the “misguided view that we were coming out of lockdown and this would be OK".
She added: “I’m deep sorry for breaking the rules and in turn understand that this puts people at risk.”
Sources close to the star today confirmed she voluntarily paid a £10,000 fine - the maximum amount that anyone can be fined for breaching Covid rules - following the event.
Ora, who turned 30 on Thursday, was pictured leaving the venue on high heels and in a white satin dress and a coat. Video obtained by The Sun showed police banging on a metal door at the rear of the restaurant and peering in through the windows.
Original reports suggested as many as 30 people attended the party, but sources told the Standard the number was “much less". Other guests included models Cara and Poppy Delevingne, Ora’s sister Elena and Towie star Vas Morgan.
“This was a serious and inexcusable error of judgement. Given the restrictions, I realise how irresponsible these actions were and I take full responsibility,” said Ora in her statement.
"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 police statement said officers were called to “a potential breach of Covid regulations” but “found no record of any offence”.
Kensington and Chelsea Council also confirmed it was investigating. A spokesman said: “We are aware of the reports and will be investigating them with the premises.”
Downing Street stressed that coronavirus rules also apply to celebrities, following news of Ora’s birthday party, as well as comments from actor Laurence Fox, who boasted of having a “large group over to lunch”.
The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “It’s important that everybody in society sets an example by following the rules – that is for every member of the public including celebrities.”
Specifically on Ora, he said: “Throughout the pandemic we’ve been clear that it’s vital for everyone to abide by the rules in order to suppress the virus and reduce the transmission but enforcement matter is for the police.”
Asked about Fox, the spokesman added: “The Prime Minister has been clear of the need for everybody across the country to continue to abide by the rules in order to reduce the transmission of the virus, but it’s up to police to decide what action to take.”
Fox’s spokesman today said the star had nothing further to add on his comments.
Meanwhile, the billionaire owner of Casa Cruz has said he had no idea about Ora’s gathering.
Francois Perrodo, 43, is the majority shareholder in Casa Cruz, which is named after the Chile-born Juan Santa Cruz, the original restaurateur at the venue.
Casa Cruz's director Nicholas Fallows has also insisted he was not aware of any plans.