Music

Freddie Mercury’s first girlfriend knew he was gay after museum date

Freddie Mercury's first girlfriend has told of the moment she began to realise that the singer was gay.

Rose Pearson told that she knew he was gay after they went on a date together to the V&A in London, and a particular exhibition caught Freddie's eye.

In a new BBC documentary, A Life In 10 Pictures, she explains: "We had been to the V&A and seen Eadweard Muybridge's photographs of men wrestling in the nude. I could see he was enamoured in a way that went beyond art appreciation.

"Then we went to see Ken Russell's Women in Love and he was dumbfounded by the wrestling scene. He wanted to stay in the cinema and see the whole thing again."

Rose adds: "My blood ran cold, not because it was a bad film but because of the implications. That was the tipping point."

After witnessing Freddie's reaction to the first exhibition, she decided she wanted to break up with him.

"I knew we weren't the right people for each other and he desperately wanted a relationship with a man by then. I couldn't stand by and watch that," she told Radio Times.

And Rose believes it came as quite the shock to Freddie, who she says "didn't see it coming at all".

The BBC2 series examines the lives of big name celebrities through 10 photographs.

Freddie's episode sees everything from the height of his rocker days to his lesser known days when he still went by real name Farrokh Bulsara.

He had arrived in the UK as a teenager, a refugee from Zanzibar.

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This year marks 30 years since Freddie's tragic death from AIDS.

When he got up on stage at the BRIT Awards in 1990, fans had no idea he was living with the cruel disease, having kept his diagnosis within a closely knit group of friends which included Sir Elton John.

That year, Queen was recognised for the Outstanding Contribution to British Music Award.

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