Shane Lynch Says Being Forced Out "Nearly Destroyed" Stephen Gately

Boyzone's Shane Lynch has spoken to the Celebrity Big Brother housemates about how being forced to come out “nearly destroyed” former bandmate Stephen Gately.


During a segment aired on Friday’s show, India Willoughby (who was evicted during the live part of the episode) and Lynch discussed former Boyzone singer Stephen Gately, who passed away suddenly from a congenital heart defect in 2009. “Am I right in think that he wasn’t openly gay initially?” asked Willoughby.

“Obviously me and boys (in the Boyzone) knew Steo (Gatley) was gay. It wasn’t even a question because his boyfriends used to come on the road with us and I think in the early ’90s when we came over to the UK, being in a boy band and being gay – nobody had come out.

“It was not the done thing to do.”

Lynch continued, telling Willoughby that management were aware of his sexuality, but it was “swept under the carpet”, and Gately was paired with female celebrities – “red herrings” like Emma ‘Baby Spice‘ Bunton from The Spice Girls – to give the impression of heterosexuality.

It was while on tour in Germany that Gately received a call from the UK’s tabloid press, informing him of plans to run an exposé about the star’s private life.

Boyzone in an early publicity shot (Gately and Lynch appear left and right, middle row)

“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.”

“And he did. He came out, and the he couldn’t believe the weight off his shoulders.”

Lynch praised fans’ response to the news, adding that Gately “flourished” after coming out.

“Steo was our brother. Of course, it was never a problem for us, boys. We took care of him.”

Lynch’s appearance on Celebrity Big Brother co-insides with a planned Boyzone reunion tour, celebrating the band’s 25-year anniversary.

Celebrity Big Brother airs nightly on 3e at 9pm.

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