Fresh details of Freddie Mercury’s emotional battle with AIDS have come to light in a new book titled ‘Somebody to Love’, to be released tomorrow on the 25th anniversary of his death.
The tome – written by Matt Richards and Mark Langthorne – claims the ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ singer alienated his best friend because he didn’t want to admit to him that he had the deadly disease.
Freddie tragically died in 1991 aged 45 due to complications caused by the illness but cut Peter Straker, his good pal of 15 years, out of his life rather than open up about his condition and seek support.
When Peter asked Freddie if he had AIDs, the star denied it and the pair – who had been best friends since the early-70s – never saw each other again.
According to the Daily Mirror newspaper, Peter is quoted in the book as saying: “All I got from Freddie was that he had this blood thing, and I thought it could have been leukaemia or something like that. He started to get these blotches and I asked about these and he said he had some blood condition. I knew about AIDS but it just never entered my head.
“We had lunch and he was quite blotchy and he had make-up on, and we went upstairs and we were sitting down watching telly on his bed and I said to him, ‘Have you got AIDS?’ and he said, ‘No, I haven’t got AIDS.’ And I said, ‘If there’s anything wrong with you, I’m always here for you,’ and we parted that evening. That was the last time I saw him.”
The singer and star of West End musical ‘Hair’ didn’t attend his pal’s funeral because he was too distraught but he did try to contact Freddie in the last year of his life and was constantly turned away.
Peter added: “When I used to telephone they would never put me through. They’d just say he was busy, he was out, but they got instructions from him, and Joe followed him to the letter. Again, after he died, they all came to see me in a show in the West End and were all apologising, saying, ‘I wish we’d put you through.’ I said, ‘It’s too f**king late now.’ ”
Freddie – whose mother Jer Bulsara died on Tuesday aged 94 – issued a statement confirming he had AIDS just 24 hours before he passed away at his home in Kensington, west London, on November 24, 1991.
However, he had already informed his bandmates, Brian May, Roger Taylor and John Deacon, at a meal in Montreux, Switzerland, in May 1989, two-and-a-half years before he passed and his lover Jim Hutton, who was also HIV positive.
Speaking about Freddie’s passing, his mother Jer told The Telegraph in 2003: “God loved him more and wanted him with Him and that is what I keep in my mind. No mother wants to see her son die, but, at the same time, he has done more for the world in his short life than many people could do in 100 years.”