Singer-songwriter Boy George is speaking out after a brutal attack on his 'oldest friend' Philip Sallon.

Boy George, whose androgynous look helped propel his musical career, has said Sallon must have been attacked because of his outrageous sense of style.

He warned of an increasing hostility toward nonconformists, and suggested gay men harbor such sentiments.

Sallon, 59, was found unconscious by paramedics in central London outside a Gap store in Piccadilly Circus last Saturday. He suffered a fractured skull and broken bones.

The 49-year-old Boy George said attitudes have changed since the days of the New Romantic movement.

“These things go in circles,” he told the Guardian. “In the early 80s there was this sense that things were changing, and becoming more open-minded. But we don't have that sort of gorgeous youth culture any more, the glam rockers, the New Romantics. People aren't so individual any more.”

“You can find that sort of attitude in the gay community too. That if you are an exhibitionist you are somehow spoiling the big assimilation. Most gay men go out of their way to look normal and fit in, but Phillip is not of that breed.”

Police say they have no witnesses to the beat down and are not investigating it as a hate crime.