Westlife star Markus Feehily was forced to leave a pub after anti-gay abuse
Former Westlife singer Markus Feehily has revealed that he was subjected to homophobic abuse, and that he was once forced to flee from a pub because of it.
The former boyband star, who has now launched his own catering van, as well as a solo career, told the Sun about an incident in Dublin when a group of people started chanting homophobic slurs.
Describing the incident as, “intimidating” and “upsetting”, Feehily said: “A man asked to take a picture of me then four of his friends crowded round yelling ‘What the f*** are you doing? Why are you having a photo with him – you gay? You queer!”
He said: “We left quickly, the fear kicks in. I was shocked.”
On the wider issue of homophobic abuse, Feehily insisted more needed to be done, saying: “It would be a mistake to think it’s over. Things are far from where they need to be.”
The former boyband member raked in a string of hits before the band split up in 2012.
Mr Feehily first came out when he announced he was dating Kevin McDaid in 2005, after seven years of hiding his sexuality in the public eye.
McDaid and Feehily later got engaged – but the pair split up in 2011.
The singer previously paid tribute to late Boyzone singer Stephen Gately, saying: “He was the first member of a boyband to come out, and, in hindsight, it helped me and probably lots of other gay lads to understand their sexuality and come out.”