Wham! star Andrew Ridgeley recently opened up about George Michael’s struggles after the late gay icon decided to delay his coming out to the public.
In 1982, the “Careless Whisper” singer revealed his sexuality to fellow Wham! member Ridgeley at the age of 19, which wasn’t exactly a surprising news.
“When he told me it was like, ‘Oh, well, yeah. That explains a few things’, but it was unremarkable, unsensational,” Ridgeley recalled during an interview with People.
He also noted that he is an ally of the LGBTQ+ community, “before we even had the term.” According to the 60-year-old English singer-songwriter,
“He originally came out as bisexual to [me], then later, of course, acknowledged that he was, in fact, gay. You were that allyship. You were fully baked in from the beginning, and you watched him struggle with all of that.”
“George was thinking ‘Yeah, I’ll just come out and say it’, and I thought: ‘Well, how’s this gonna change anything for us? The music’s still great and once the initial hullabaloo is over, then it’ll probably be just that’,” the Wham! star further shared about Michael’s decision to publicly come out.
Ridgeley also revealed that the late singer went through a lot of struggles because of his decision to delay his coming out, stating:
“But that was not the case, and George [said] that for him, that was the wrong decision. [The] decision to wait [was] because we were fearful of how his father would react, along with the press and the label.
He was all ifs and buts, but the fact is the decision was taken not to make his sexuality public, and that personally cost him.”
In 1998, Michael eventually came out on live television during an interview with CNN’s Jim Moret. Moreover, Netflix’s new documentary, ‘WHAM!’, covers the late gay icon’s career, arrest, coming out, and death.