Michael “passed away peacefully at home,” his publicist told the BBC.
Police said there were no suspicious circumstances surrounding Michael’s death. Thames Valley Police confirmed an ambulance arrived at his home in Goring, Oxfordshire at 13:42 GMT. While police only said that he died peacefully, Michael faced health scares, including a battle with pneumonia in 2011.
Police later told The Hollywood Reporter that Michael’s death was “unexplained but not suspicious.” Their statement read:
Thames Valley Police were called to a property in Goring-on-Thames shortly before 2pm Christmas Day. Sadly, a 53-year-old man was confirmed deceased at the scene. At this stage the death is being treated as unexplained but not suspicious. A post mortem will be undertaken in due course. There will be no further updates from Thames Valley Police until the post mortem has taken place.
With that tragic news that has hit the world this Christmas Day, many are asking when the pop star came out to the world as gay. The answer is, according to People Magazine, he didn’t intentionally come out. Unfortunately it was a public arrest for “lewd behavior” in a park that got him into trouble in Beverly Hills in 1998 that finally made him do it.
Read more about the arrest below:
After his arrest, he admitted to CNN that he was indeed gay, People reported.
“For some strange reason, my gay life didn’t get easier when I came out. Quite the opposite happened, really,” he told the BBC in an interview…The press seemed to take some delight that I previously had a ‘straight audience,’ and set about trying to destroy that. And I think some men were frustrated that their girlfriends wouldn’t let go of the idea that George Michael just hadn’t found the ‘right girl’ [yet]. Which is still what a lot of my extended family still think!”
The interview took place when he was a single 50-year-old, and when coming out wasn’t as acceptable as it is nowadays. The star “ended a 13-year relationship with longtime partner Kenny Goss in 2011, said that he didn’t care that he wasn’t open at the time, and will never judge anyone for when he or she decides to come out,” People reported.
The icon went onto hint that telling his mother may have been part of why he made the tough decision to hold in being gay.
“Because it’s about family,” he told the BBC. “In the years when HIV was a killer, any parent of an openly gay person was terrified. I knew my mother well enough that she would spend everyday praying that I didn’t come across that virus. She’d have worried like that.”
Over the years, George Michael was involved in many relationships, but he was not married when he died. In 2007, Michael confessed that:
I used to sleep with women quite a lot in the Wham! days but never felt it could develop into a relationship because I knew that, emotionally, I was a gay man. I didn’t want to commit to them but I was attracted to them. Then I became ashamed that I might be using them.
In the 1990s, Michael engaged in a relationship with a dress designer named Anselmo Feleppa, who had HIV. A couple years after meeting, Feleppa passed away. Michael’s single “Jesus to a Child” is a tribute to the designer.
Michael also was reportedly in a relationship with a flight attendant named Kenny Goss, who he met in 1996. In 2004, Michael opened up about finding out his mother had cancer just after meeting Goss. His mother passed away in 1997.
Brooke Shields discussed a past relationship she had with Michael at a very young age, as The Mirror reported in 2014. Shields stated that she thought “it was love” because Michael was a “remarkable, respectful and patient gentleman”. Shields wrote about the relationship in her book There Was a Little Girl: The Real Story of My Mother and Me.
Michael was most recently linked to Fadi Fawaz, a Lebanese celebrity hairstylist and male model. The two became famous for reporting events of different romantic getaways they took together via Twitter.