New Kids on the Block member Jonathan Knight recently opened up about being forced to keep his sexuality a secret during the band’s heyday, and having to deal with the pressure of it.
The 54-year-old singer revealed in an episode of Frosted Tips with Lance Bass podcast that his manager knew he was gay, but he was told to hide it from the public.
“My manager knew I was gay,” Knight told Lance Bass and Joey Fatone.
Bass then asked him,
“Did they ever tell you you can’t say anything?”
And to that, the “Step by Step” singer admitted,
“My manager actually did. He pulled me aside and was like, ‘If anybody finds out, your career is over. The New Kids’ career is over. My career is over.'”
“It was just so much pressure,” he added.
Knight further recalled,
“Looking back, that was a lot of pressure to put on somebody who’s just trying to figure out the world themselves. As it went along, the stress built up and built up and built up.”
Several years after, he finally came out as gay, but it was because he was outed against his will by his then boyfriend.
“It was a boyfriend of mine who sold pictures of us to the National Enquirer,” the singer shared.
The aftermath of being outed was, of course, an unpleasant experience, and he didn’t want to make an official announcement about his sexuality amid the tabloid reports. However, he did it anyway, and described the process of it as “horrible.”
“I didn’t want to. I was just living my life… it wasn’t something I was hiding. But then it was like, ‘No, you have to make a statement. You have to clear the air.’ And that whole process was horrible,” the “I’ll Be Loving You” singer expressed.
Fast forward to the present, and Knight is now happily married to longtime partner Harley Rodriguez. <3