Sunday 25 February 2018

'Oh for God's sake' - What happened when Bono tried to 'intervene' over George Michael's drug use

Bono: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire
Bono: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

BONO reached out to offer help to George Michael after rumours emerged suggesting he was battling drug addiction, but the response confirmed the pop superstar who passed away on Christmas Day was not interested.

The world has been mourning pop superstar Michael after he died of a suspected heart attack on Sunday, with the outpouring of affection towards the Englishman highlighted by his appearances in the top 12 positions of the iTunes music video chart on Tuesday.

But in an interview with Guardian journalist Simon Hattenstone Michael revealed he was no interested in getting help from his music colleagues Elton John and U2 frontman Bono.

Referring to his former partner Kenny Goss in an interview that was conducted as he ‘smoked spliff after spliff’, Michael told a story that confirmed those at the top of the music industry were concerned eagerness to embrace life’s demons.

“Elton lives on that. He will not be happy until I bang on his door in the middle of the night saying, ‘Please, please, help me, Elton. Take me to rehab.’ It’s not going to happen,” said the singer.

“You know what I heard last week? That Bono … Oh for God’s sake …Geri (Ex-Spice Girl Halliwell) told Kenny that Bono, having spoken to Elton, had approached Geri to say, ‘What can we do for George?’

George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley
George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley
George Michael collecting his Ivor Novello award in 1989. Photo: PA
George Michael performs at the closing ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics Picture: Getty
George Michael outside Highbury Corner Magistrates’Court in London in 2010, where he was jailed for eight weeks for crashing his car into a shop while under the influence of cannabis Picture: AFP
A woman lays a football with a message written on it with flowers and tributes outside the Oxfordshire home of the pop superstar yesterday Picture: Getty

“This is what I have to deal with because I don’t want to be part of that social clique. All I’d have to do to stop it is hang out in London, so people realise I don’t look close to death.”

Michael also offered up a glimpse into his life in the interview, with his sexual promiscuity a prominent part of his daily routine.

“I normally get up about 10am, my PA will bring me a Starbucks, I’ll have a look at my emails,” he suggested.

“Then, if I’m in the mood, I’ll come up to the office in Highgate, do some work, writing, backing tracks or whatever. Come home.

"Kenny (his then boyfriend) will be here, the dogs are here. Maybe eat locally, hang out, and then probably go off and have a shag or have someone come here and have a shag.”

Meanwhile, another Irish superstar - Boy George - longed for George Michael to return to music, he has said.

Culture Club singer George, who rose to fame in the '80s like Michael, posted his condolences on Twitter not long after the news broke and fans have reached out to comfort him, though he was quick to correct one user who called Michael his "friend".

"I'm sure George's closest friends would not consider me a 'friend. It's true, George and I never got close. He was my competition, my peer," he poignantly wrote.

"It was only in recent years that we actually spoke. I hoped he would rise up and become strong again and fill our lives with more music."

When the Twitter user replied asking George to simply say a prayer for the late musician, he promised he'd dedicate his morning practice of gongyo, a term used in Buddhism, to Michael.

Queen guitarist Brian May has also spoken out following the death of Michael, who previously performed with the band in 1992 as part of The Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert at Wembley Stadium in London.

"I don't have the words," May wrote on Facebook. "This year has cruelly taken so many fine people way too young. And George? That gentle boy? All that beautiful talent? Can't begin to compute this. RIP George. Sing with Freddie. And the Angels."

Freddie passed away in 1991 aged 45 from bronchial pneumonia triggered by his AIDS diagnosis. Michael came out as gay in 1998 and was an active LGBTQ rights campaigner and raised funds for HIV/AIDS, with his former partner Anselmo Feleppa passing away from an AIDS related brain-haemorrhage in 1993.

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