Wednesday 21 November 2018

Gately family hit out at 'damaged upbringing' slur in lover's book

BARRY EGAN

THE family of the late Stephen Gately are furious about the introduction to his new book -- written by his lover, Andrew Cowles.

In a statement that The Sunday Independent has seen exclusively, the family say they are "aware of the upset which has been caused to the local community, and to themselves, as a result of printed comments made in the acknowledgments of his book, The Tree of Seasons." Written by Stephen's late husband, Andy Cowles, it contains several references to Sheriff Street, where the late Boyzone star grew up.

The family are particularly upset at the comment made suggesting that the area is one of "the poorest parts of Dublin City" and during the 1980s "was a place of civil unrest and terrorist activity".

The Gately family, the statement continues, "wish to make it clear that these statements are not correct and do not reflect the views of the family".

The book, which was on the verge of being finished when Gately tragically died at the age of 33, has a foreword written by pop star Elton John and his partner David Furnish.

Published last week his family were shocked by the comments by Andrew Cowles.

"In addition, Stephen himself had no input into the acknowledgement section for the book -- and the family are satisfied that these views do not reflect those of their beautiful son, Stephen.

"After Stephen's sudden death last October, the entire community came together in the area where Stephen grew up and showed the utmost respect for all the Gately family -- and in particular for their beautiful young son, Stephen (RIP)."

I was also told that Stephen's mother was "deeply hurt" by suggestions that have been published in magazines that "Gately had a difficult upbringing and as an adult emerged a little damaged" and also comments that "he had a fear of ending up back at Sheriff Street".

Recent comments that Stephen "had difficulty in getting the novel published while he was alive due to his lack of formal education are also completely untrue, as Stephen had agreed a publishing deal in 2008. In fact, Stephen had finished school and was attending college when he joined Boyzone.

The Gately family have felt it necessary to release this statement as they wish to protect his memory.

Sunday Independent

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