George Michael was a music icon to millions and a superstar across the globe, but to heartbroken ex-partner Kenny Goss, he was also just an ordinary guy who was happiest watching daytime TV and walking labradors Hippie, Mo Mo, Meg and Abby. Yet that doesn’t mean life with the two-time Grammy winner was easy – far from it. Talking exclusively to The Sun in aid of the charitable Goss-Michael Foundation, the 58 year-old Texan lifted the lid on the extraordinary times he shared with Michael during their 13-year relationship, touching on such heart-wrenching issues as Michael’s drug abuse, multiple arrests and tragic Christmas Day death.
Goss also attended the music legend’s recent funeral at Highgate Cemetery in London, describing is as “reassuring to know he was resting in peace” after lengthy post-mortem examinations. The tale is one of kindness, tragedy and deep, enduring love. Read on for further details.
George had a very, very secret side
Whether it was posting £20,000 ($25,000) through the mail box of a local charity or phoning daytime TV to randomly provide complete strangers with the funds for IVF treatment, Michael anonymously donated millions of dollars to those in need – never once using the donations for publicity.
“I saw him give millions away while I was with him, easily more than £10 million,” Goss told The Sun. “George would give away money every month”.
Yet Michael’s secret side didn’t just end there: despite selling more than 100 million records and headlining the biggest venues in the world, the star never sang a note at home. According to Goss the only time he ever worked on music was in the bath.
“He would soak for hours, at any time of day,” said Goss. “He liked to be alone there. Writing was his passion but he never sang in the house or the shower or the car, he would be too embarrassed.”
His LA arrest sparked a downward spiral
Goss was the first person to learn about Michael’s 1998 arrest for lewd conduct in Beverly Hills but initially assumed the LA police had picked the singer up for a DUI following a wine-filled lunch. Revealed Goss: “They bring him to the phone and I say, ‘Darling, what happened? Did you get a DUI?’ “He says, ‘If only!’”
Michael was eventually fined £500 and sentenced to 80 hours community service. More importantly, the entire world was left in no doubt about his sexuality.
Tragically, it was the beginning of a downward spiral that would lead to a number of arrests for DUI and drug possession (crack cocaine and cannabis) in London. Then, in July 2010, Michael drunkenly crashed his Range Rover into a Snappy Snaps photo-developing store in Hampstead and was jailed for eight weeks – starting with three nights in London’s notorious Pentonville Prison.
“George didn’t get any special treatment,” said Goss of the singer’s later incarceration at Highpoint Prison in Suffolk. “He had to wear a uniform of jeans and a blue and white striped shirt that was tucked in. The outfit was quite cute. If somebody had told me 20 years ago I’d be visiting my partner in jail I’d have been like, you’re kidding me.
“But he coped with it well. People were good to him in there. But he said he was scared to death in Pentonville.”
Geri Halliwell Horner secretly visited George hours before the funeral
Michael’s lover Fadi Fawaz – who discovered the singer’s lifeless body at his home in Goring-On-Thames — arrived late for his funeral and did not attend the wake. He also did not speak to George’s 80 year-old dad Kyriacos, known as Jack, and was not mentioned in the eulogy delivered by Michael’s sister, Melanie.
Other than Wham! bandmate Andrew Ridgeley and Spandau Ballet star Martin Kemp, the only celebrity to visit the church was Geri Halliwell Horner, 44. The former Spice Girl secretly travelled to the church before the ceremony to say a private farewell, while fellow celebrities such as Elton John and Kate Moss stayed away because the family wanted the minimum of fuss.
Michael was buried in a suit and shirt from his 2011-12 Symphonica tour and a Cartier watch. There were no hymns, or pictures of George and none of his songs were played.
“The whole thing was over in less than an hour. Everyone did well and kept their emotions in check,” Goss told The Sun. “The Greek minister did the shaking of incense.
“Then we put in white roses, which were George’s favorite.”
George was a huge TV fan
Michael was happiest when watching British soap opera Coronation Street wearing grey flannel pajamas from Gap and eating a tub of Ben & Jerry’s Chunky Monkey ice cream. He was also a fan of Coco Pops and – like all Brits – a strong cup of PG Tips tea
Despite having homes in Saint-Tropez, LA, Dallas and London, his favored his home in Goring-on-Thames, where he happily strolled around the garden pruning flowers and gossiping. That’s when Goss could drag him away from the TV, anyway.
“He’d spend all day in bed if I didn’t make him get up,” said Goss.
Michael’s favorites included British daytime TV shows Loose Women and Richard and Judy. He was also a big fan of the late British comic Caroline Aherne, who died of cancer in 2016, aged just 52.
According to Goss, however, it was gritty British soap Coronation Street – now in its 57th year – that grabbed him most
“He took being a Coronation Street fan to another level, it was embarrassing,” said Goss. “I thought it was all misery. American soap operas have a bit of glamour, but George loved it, he couldn’t miss it.”
He only had one true love
Goss and Michael split in 2009 when the combination of the singer’s drug habit and Goss’ alcohol problems finally tore them apart. Yet Michael continued to text him after the split, saying he “wished we were together still — like in the beginning,” Goss told The Sun.
Before the split, a psychiatrist had also encouraged the couple to stay together, despite the huge dysfunction.
“I asked him if I should leave George and he looked me in the eye and said, ‘I think you are the only reason George stays alive,’” added Goss.
Michael later spent 18 months in rehab at the Kusnacht Practice in Switzerland, yet Goss did not visit – although they did speak on the phone.
“He’d call me and say, ‘Oh darling, I am still here at this miserable place,’” Goss revealed.
“There was never a day I didn’t worry about him. Right until the end, I still loved him.”