Michael Simpson is Pete Burns’ ex-partner. Burns, the former lead singer for the British group Dead or Alive, suddenly died at age 57 on Sunday after suffering a heart attack.
Simpson and Burns were never legally married, but instead entered a civil partnership in 2007. Same-sex marriage was not made legal in England until March 2014.
Here’s a look at their relationship.
1. Burns’ Ex-Wife Claimed He Started an Affair With Simpson While They Were Still Married
Burns was married to Lynn Corlett from 1978 to 2006. Just a year after they split, Burns entered a civil partnership with Simpson.
In a January 2006 interview with the Mirror, Corlett claimed that Burns already started seeing Simpson before their divorce. She said that they were split for a year before the divorce was finalized. Surprisingly, she was happy for Burns and Simpson.
“Michael is a lovely man and we get on well. I have no problems with that,” she told the Mirror. “He was seeing Michael when we were still married but I knew about that.”
Corlett said that Burns was “very honest” about the relationship with Simpson and said that it wasn’t why they broke-up. In fact, she said it was “very amicable and I’m very proud of him.”
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2. Simpson & Burns Starred in an Episode of ‘Wife Swap’ With Soccer Player Neil Ruddock
You can watch the entire Wife Swap: The Aftermath episode with Simpson and Burns above. The episode was taped after Burns found a second life as a reality star, beginning with his success on Celebrity Big Brother 2006.
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3. Burns Said There Is Too Much ‘Promiscuity’ for Gay Marriage 10 Months After His Civil Partnership
Ten months after their glitzy civil partnership ceremony, which featured Burns dressed as a geisha, Simpson and Burns split for a time. In an interview with the Daily Mail, Burns said that he thinks there is too much “promiscuity” in the gay community for civil relationships to last.
Burns told the Daily Mail that he was “optimistic” about the relationship, but added, “I learned the hard way. It’s a total joke.”
“Surely marriage is throwing anchor and saying, ‘This is where I’m staying, I’ve made my choice and this is all I want because I’ve been on the up and down escalator, through the revolving door and I want to stand still.’ That’s what I expected,” Burns continued. “I don’t know what goes on in many heterosexual marriages but I know mine was 28 years.”
Burns and Simpson got back together at some point though, as The Mirror reported in April 2015 that they were both evicted from their apartment.
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4. Burns & Simpson Were Evicted From Their Apartment in April 2015
In the last years of his life, Burns struggled with finances due to his frequent plastic surgeries. In April 2015, The Mirror reported that they were evicted from their apartment because they owed £34,000 ($41,500) in unpaid rent.
The Mirror reported that they caused their landlord to suffer a “nervous breakdown” because of the stressful situation.
“This has been a complete nightmare for the landlord, he has lost over £34,000 in rent and has suffered a breakdown because of the stress caused by the tenants not paying him the rent and various incidents at the flat, where he’s received numerous complaints,” Paul Shamplina, the founder of Landlord Action, told the Mirror at the time.
“I also have regular peels and Botox. I’t something I’ll always do. People redecorate their homes every few years and I see this as no different. Changing my face is like buying a new sofa,” Burns told the Daily Mail in 2011.
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5. Simpson Signed the Statement Announcing Burns’ Death on Monday
Burns’ family, including Simpson and Corlett, announced his death on Monday. The statement was also signed by Burns’ manager, Steve Coy. They said that he suffered a “massive cardiac arrest.”
“We have no more words, we will make a further statement when we have had a chance to come to terms with our devastating loss. He will live forever in our memories,” the statement read.
The news came after The Sun published photos of Burns in May 2016, showing him looking unhealthy and smoking. It was the first time he was seen in the media since Celebrity Big Brother’s Bit On The Side aired in May 2015.
The Mirror later reported that Burns was supposed to appear on the U.K. talkshow Loose Women to promote a new album on October 25.