Michael McIntyre grew up believing his father had died of a heart attack.
The popular comic only discovered the news 17 years later, in 2010, and is “heart broken” that his stepmother Holly is now revealing his father’s cause of death to the public.
Holly, who told him the truth in 2010, has decided to speak out for the first time about the family’s “deepest, darkest secret”.
Michael believed his father Ray Cameron had died of a heart attack when he was just 17 years old.
Cameron, also a comedian , took his own life by shooting himself in his Hollywood apartment block at age 55.
According to Holly, he was broken by his failing career and loss of fortune.
Ray plays a pivotal role in McIntyre’s life, and is frequently referenced in his 2010 autobiography Life And Laughing.
Holly spoke to the Mail On Sunday about the painful conversation with Michael in 2010, when she had to reveal the truth.
“That was the hardest phone call of my life. I was shaking when I told him. For years I kept this terrible secret and finally I was sharing it. I said, “Michael, your father didn’t have a heart attack. He killed himself.”
“There was a paralysed silence on the other end of the line. He was crushed. How are you supposed to react to news like that?”
“He just said, ‘Oh my God, Oh my God… are you sure?’”
Holly was forced to reveal the secret because Michael was planning to take part in a genealogy search for the BBC series Who Do You Think You Are and she feared he would learn the truth in front of the nation.
Holly knew that the show’s researchers would uncover Ray’s death certificate from the US Office of Public Records which states he died as a result of ‘Suicide’ on December 27, 1993, listing the cause of death as ‘self-inflicted gunshot wound to head’.
Holly explains: ‘When Cameron shot himself, Michael was just 17, his sister Lucy was 15. I had two young kids who were one and seven. Cameron went out one morning for his usual walk and didn’t come back.
“The first I knew about it was when two police officers banged on my door. He had shot himself in the head in the trash room down the hall from our apartment.I didn’t hear a thing. I don’t know to this day where he got the gun.”
“My first instinct was to protect the kids, so I told them daddy had died of a heart attack. I told no one the truth. The only people on the planet who knew the truth were the police and me.”
She states that if Michael had never become famous the truth would have never come out.
“I wanted to tell him face-to-face. I sent him a long email saying it was imperative we meet immediately, that I had something huge to tell him. He called me after a show. It was about 4am for him. He got angry when I kept asking to meet and he snapped, “Look, you’re being melodramatic, just tell me what it is!’”
Holly told the Mail On Sunday that she has chosen to break her silence after four years because she is angry at how Michael has treated her and his two half sisters, Georgina (22) and Billie (28).
Michael McIntyre has released a statement which says, “I’m heartbroken my stepmother has chosen to share painful and personal information publicly.”