Richard Madeley admits George Michael was ‘literally subsumed’ by drugs

A close friend of performer George Michael has spoken out about the star’s descent into drug abuse.

TV presenter and journalist Richard Madeley revealed on Good Morning Britain that he had become friends with the singer in the early 90s.

While hosting This Morning with wife Judy Finnigan, George rang in to donate £50,000 to a charity appeal.

Not knowing who was behind the vast donation, the hosts quizzed show staff on who had rung in.

The TV hosts went on to develop a friendship with the Wham! star following the generosity.

Richard revealed: “We got to know him and he was lovely – he was clean then.

“Then he just gradually sank into really serious drug abuse and there was nothing that any of us who knew him – he lived quite close to us – and he just withdrew.

“Nothing we could do could stop him.

“He just wouldn’t listen. And he died, it was just horrible.

He continued: “It completely, completely subsumed him.”

“He was literally lost to drugs. It was horrible.”

It’s not the first time he has spoken out about his friendship.

According to the presenter, the two men had been at a dinner party when he revealed the wish.

Richard said that, asked what sexuality he would pick were it a totally free choice, Michael said “not to be gay”.

Apparently the singer, who didn’t come out until the late 1990s, struggled with being gay as he found it “complicated”.

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The claims came during a breakfast television chat with Princess Diana’s former butler Paul Burrell.

In a question to Burrell about coming out as gay, host Richard Madeley said: “A very dear friend of ours, now passed on, George Michael, said to us quite early on over dinner once, in a conversation, that had he been given an absolute free choice over his sexuality, he would have preferred not to be gay.

“And I asked him why, and he said, ‘it’s just so damn complicated’.”

The revelation comes after Culture Club singer Boy George said he never became friends with Michael, and it frustrated him that he didn’t come out.

Both Georges rose to fame in the 1980s, but George Michael refused to come out as gay until more than a decade later.

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The Freedom performer died on Christmas Day 2016 of natural causes, age 53.

Since his death his place of burial, Highgate Cemetery, north London, has been flooded with fans wanting to pay tribute.