Words: Steve Brown
Andrew Ridgeley worried George Michael would die from an Aids-related illness when he came out as gay.
Back in 1983, the late Wham! frontman – who passed away in 2016 – confided in his bandmate about his sexuality.
And although Michael feared coming out publicly would ruin his career, Ridgeley tells in his new book, ‘Wham! George & Me’, how he was terrified that Michael would contract HIV and die of an Aids-related illness.
In an extract obtained by The Sun, Ridgeley says: “A terrible additional worry was the emergence of AIDS.
“I know I wasn't the only friend of George's who worried about him during that uncertain, frightening period.”
Michael opened up about his sexuality to his bandmate after finishing shooting the video for ‘Club Tropicana’.
The late frontman called his bandmate to his hotel room where backing singer, Shirlie Holliman, was also there. Someone Michael had previously come out too.
Ridgeley continued: “When I walked across the hallway to George's room, Shirlie was already there, perched on a large sofa in the suite.
“George was still in bed. He smiled as I came in.
“The mood in the room was so relaxed and familiar, yet what George was about to reveal was clearly a big deal for him.
“’I didn't know whether to tell you this', he said, looking across at Shirlie. ‘But I'm going to. I'm gay'.”
Image: Andrew Ridgeley Twitter