It is often hard to think that Freddie was once in a deeply committed and loving relationship with a woman. Not only because he became one of the first major stars to be identified as gay, but also because the woman in question, Mary Austin, has always avoided the limelight. In fact, she has almost never spoken on camera about their many years together. They were still a couple when he finally told her he was gay. Watch Mary tell the incredible story in her own words in remarkable archive interviews.
Bohemian Rhapsody shows the moment during an emotional scene, but Mary revealed the actual moment was more shocking for one surprising reason.
She described how they first met while she was working at fashion boutique Biba, as shown in the movie, and how quickly the relationship developed. Mary said: “Five months later we were living together and we continued that for six years, I think.
“I think if I were to be really honest I know I realised when he first joined John Reid enterprises why the relationship had changed. I didn’t know who he was with but I had a good idea. I knew this man wasn’t at one with himself over something. He was feeling bad about something, he wasn’t comfortable, avoiding situations. This wasn’t the Freddie I had first met.”
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There has never been any indication that Mary hadn’t wanted to stay with Freddie, so her reaction when that choice was taken away from her is even more extraordinary.
Mary said; “It was a relief to hear it from him. To have surmised that was the problem for the last two year we were together, too know that I had guessed right. It was a relief. A huge burden had been lifted and I enjoyed that he could be honest and frank with me. But once that had been discussed he was a different person, he was like the person I had known in the early years. He was more at one with himself, more relaxed, more happy.”
Mary revealed that Freddie himself had been prepared for her to reject him and not accept his sexuality.
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She said: “I don’t think he ever thought I would be supportive or him becoming gay but I was because it was part of himself. It was more than nice to see Freddie at one with himself, it was wonderful. It was such a happy person You couldn’t deny Freddie the right to be one with himself.
“I see it as a love that you accept and somehow understand because you want the person inside to grown and you are fascinated to see this person within totally at ease. There’s a great feeling, almost euphoric that you are witnessing the development. He gave so much so how could you not give?”