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Rita Ora’s advertising campaign with mobile network provider EE was reportedly ended early after she broke coronavirus rules twice.
The singer, 30, starred in a TV advert to help the brand promote the Apple 12 launch, which showed her performing Let You Love Me in front of a green screen to produce a CGI version of herself singing in London’s skyline.
However, EE are said to have quietly brought the advertising campaign to an early end after she broke lockdown rules by throwing a lavish birthday at a restaurant in West London for her 30th birthday.
One source told The Mirror: “EE took the lockdown breach very seriously and didn’t want to be seen to be endorsing her actions by having her as the face of their brand.”
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EE reportedly held urgent talks with Rita’s management and it was decided to “quietly end the campaign”.
It’s understood the campaign was due to end in December, but the end date is said to have been brought forward.
Rita, who recently opened up on her breast cancer scare, apologised for what she called a “small gathering” and paid a £10,000 fine for the rule break.
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.”
But, days later it was revealed Rita, who was reportedly given a talking to by her parents, had broken the coronavirus government rules a second time as she broke her quarantine to attend her birthday bash.
The Mail on Sunday reported Rita flew to Cairo on 21 November to perform at the five-star W Hotel, before returning to London the follow day.
She then held her illegal birthday party days later on on 28 November. Rita has issued an apology for breaking lockdown rules for a second time, in which she said that she will be donating her fee from her performance in Egypt to a charity.
In a statement, she told the publication: “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.
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“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… I apologise again, unreservedly.
“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 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 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…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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