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A new interview with George Michael has revealed that the singer decided to hide his sexuality for as long as possible in a bid to “protect” his family.
The star, who passed away on Christmas day last year, decided to wait until he came out of the closet to make sure that his loved ones weren’t affected by the AIDS stigma – with the illness being incorrectly linked to homosexual men in the 1980s.
Speaking to Kirsty Young in the second part of her two-part interview, ‘George Michael: The Red Line’, George said: “It was always a personal decision.
“I stayed in the closet for as long as I was capable of staying in the closet through the AIDS period to protect my family and I would do it again.
“I would put them before myself again. Foolishly, maybe, but I love my family enough to protect them from the fear of AIDS.”
George’s partner, Anselmo Feleppa, tragically died in 1993 as the result of an AIDS related illness, and the singer took himself away from the spotlight for two years following his death.
Opening up about his grief, George recalled: “I think the whole experience of losing Anselmo, the period of grief which was roughly two years that I didn’t write a note of music… And then the absolute knowledge that the album I was going to write was about grief and recovery.
“As I’ve said before, I don’t want to be that inspired again.”
‘George Michael: Red Line’ was George’s final interview before he passed away, with it being recorded just three months before the star’s sudden death.
The interview aired in two one-hour episodes; the first last Wednesday [1 November] and part two yesterday [8 November].