The news of George Michael’s passing swept the internet like a storm. He mostly kept out of the spotlight, and the general public didn’t have much information about his love life.
That’s why we were all shocked and deeply saddened by his untimely death. George Michael was one of the most talented musicians of the 1980s with a stellar voice and an even better stage presence. He will forever be remembered as one of the icons of his time, and whether he liked it or not, as one of the greatest gay icons if there ever was one.
George Michael’s dating life was as troubled as it gets in show business, which made him deeply unhappy, and some will argue misunderstood as well. It took George Michael 29 years to tell his parents he was gay. In one of the most honest interviews George Michael had ever given, he told the Mirror how his mother feared he had inherited the gay gene from her brother who was an open homosexual and had committed suicide:
“My mother had this fear of me being gay,” explained George. “She had this definite fear that I was going to be like her brother – she thought that it meant I wouldn’t cope with life.”
Although George Michael dated women in the 1980s, he claimed his first love was Anselmo Feleppa, a Brazilian dress designer. The pair met at the Rock In Rio festival in 1991. Just six months later Feleppa found out he was HIV positive, and he died of an AIDS-related brain haemorrhage two years later. This tragedy prompted George to come out to his parents, and he did so by writing them a heartfelt letter.
“I wrote them a four-page letter which was the easiest thing I’ve ever written considering it was the only unresolved issue – to come out to my parents,” said George.
Before he met Feleppa, Michael openly dated three women, including Brooke Shields, model Pat Fernandes and makeup artist Kathy Jeung. During this time he also slept with men as he entertained the idea that he might be bisexual.
“Basically, I had three girlfriends and all through that time I cruised as well,” he admitted. “It only really used to happen when I was beating myself up about something else.”
Although his parents knew he was gay, the general public was still kept in the dark. His public coming out was highly unfortunate, as he was arrested in 1998 for trying to initiate sex with an undercover police officer in a public washroom. At that point Michael had already been dating one of the biggest loves of his life, Kenny Goss. Their romance lasted for 23 years, but its beginning coincided with Michael’s mom’s battle with cancer and passing a year later.
He was heartbroken again. The singer’s life had definitely been an emotional rollercoaster with too much death and despair, which is incredibly ironic because he spread nothing but joy and deeply felt love through his music. After calling it quits with husband Kenny Goss, in 2011 Michael fell in love again with Fadi Fawaz, who was unfortunate enough to find the singer dead in his home on Christmas day 2016.
Fadi Fawaz dated Michael for 5 years, sticking by his side when the singer battled pneumonia in the early months of their relationship. He described to The Telegraph what had happened:
“We were supposed to be going for Christmas lunch. I went round there to wake him up and he was just gone, lying peacefully in bed. We don’t know what happened yet. Everything had been very complicated recently, but George was looking forward to Christmas, and so was I. Now everything is ruined. I want people to remember him the way he was – he was a beautiful person.”
George Michael will definitely forever be remembered as one of the biggest pop icons of all time, but we must not forget that he was also a very generous and loving person who selflessly gave himself to his loved ones and the legion of his fans.
RIP George Michael.