Outspoken gay actor Rupert Everett has described Michael Jackson as a “freak”, adding that it was “fortuitous that he died”.

The singer, aged 50, died of a suspected heart attack last month. Toxicology reports have not yet come back.

Everett, who last week described how coming from “years of illegality” shaped his character, said: “He was a freak. He looked like a character from Shrek. He was a black to white minstrel.”

He told the Daily Mirror: “I think it was fortuitous that he died.

“He was supposed to be doing 50 concerts in London. It wouldn’t have mattered how good or bad he was.

“He wouldn’t have managed to do all of them and the press would have destroyed him.”

Everett also claimed the singer had been killed by the stress of the 2005 court case against him, in which he was accused of sexually abusing young boys. Jackson was later cleared of the charges.

Everett said: “He was crucified by that court case when he was accused of child molestation – that killed him.

“He personified the pain and anxiety of a black man in a slave country. We all watched as he changed from black to white. He was living performance art.”

He added: “We’re living in very strange times. We have Michael Jackson, a black man who has gone white, and we have President Barack Obama, who is a half white man gone black. It’s absolutely fascinating to watch.”

The openly gay actor also confessed he harboured a teenage crush on the singer.

“I would have leapt at the chance of sleeping with Michael Jackson when I was 14,” he said.