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Shane Lynch told CBB housemates that Stephen Gately was blackmailed into coming out

Press threatened to run the story if Stephen wouldn’t tell it himself.

PastedImage-46512 Source: Channel 5

BOYZONE’S SHANE LYNCH opened up about the struggles that his band-mate Stephen Gately faced because of his sexuality while he was working with Boyzone.

While Shane was chatting with CBB housemate India Willoughby, he was asked if Stephen had been openly gay for his entire career. Shane explained:

No he wasn’t. Obviously me and the boys always knew Steo was gay. It wasn’t a question, because his boyfriends used to come on the road with us and stuff. I think in the early 90s when we came to the UK, being in a boyband and being gay… nobody had come out. It was just not the thing to do.

Celebrity Big Brother Men's Launch Source: Ian West

Lynch explained that management wanted that kind of stuff swept under the carpet, which is why the public didn’t know about Stephen’s sexuality. Shane then said that there were serious efforts made to keep it a secret.

There’s an understanding amongst celebrities, or whatever you want to call it, but he was meant to be dating Baby Spice and all that.

India said that it was like in the old movie days “when you had people like Rock Hudson, who would be seen or photographed with a starlet.”

BOYZONE'S STEPHEN Gately Source: PA Archive/PA Images

Shane then revealed that Stephen was given an ultimatum while Boyzone were touring in Germany.

He got a phone-call to say that the press were going to run with a story on him. He was distraught. They said to him “Look, you can tell your story, or we’re going to print our story.” It nearly destroyed him. It really nearly destroyed him.

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Shane said that after this, Stephen decided to come out himself and he couldn’t believe the weight that was lifted off of his shoulders.

The lie has left. It’s gone. The support he got from our fans – they were the best. From that point, he just flourished. He had always been that reserved… He grew into this beaming man of joy. The release. He turned into just the most joyful person.

Stephen Gately dies Source: PA Archive/PA Images

Shane also said that the rest of the band never had an issue with Stephen’s sexuality.

He was always our brother. Of course it was never a problem for us boys. We took great care of him for life, y’know. He was older than I, but he was my little brother. I always had Steo under me wing. He was a joy of life. He really was. Amazing, amazing guy. I have a strong place in my heart for him.

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Kelly Earley

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