George Michael struggled with ‘secret childhood trauma that left him suicidal’, former manager says
The man who managed Wham! to their global success has said George Michael battled childhood trauma that left him vulnerable as an adult.
Simon Napier-Bell believes George, who died suddenly at 53, was keeping a dark secret that sparked his creativity.
The star was frank about struggling through the loss of his mother and his first love, who died from complications of HIV AIDS.
In a new interview the former music mogul, who managed Wham! from 1983, says Michael did not use drugs while in the band.
Simon said: “I knew there were a lot of drugs about and if somebody is doing drugs at a level which could kill them, I suppose it is semi-suicidal. You’re flirting with it.
“It’s like somebody who drives at 130mph when they’re drunk. They’re not trying to commit suicide but if they thought logically for a minute they would have to say they don’t really care much for life if they are doing that.”
He told the Mirror: “He obviously looked very much inside himself but he never told anybody whatever it was that triggered it.
“He didn’t tell the public and he may not have even told himself, because that’s another thing that happens to people, they feel a huge disquiet and they want to not look at it.”
The singer would later be arrested for possession of Class A drugs, including crack cocaine in 2008, and once admitted to smoking 25 joints of marijuana a day.
Rumours remained that he abused highly potent drugs until the day he died, with many claims that it contribute to his death, until a coroner later found that he died of natural causes.
Simon described “flirting” with drugs at a “level which could kill them” is “semi-suicidal”.
Referring to a near deadly crash no the M1, he added: “You don’t fall out a Ranger Rover going 80mph by accident.
“It might be an accident but you must have been doing something damn silly to make the accident happen.
“You knew there was an instability there that one day would go just an inch further in the wrong direction and something would happen. Which is probably what did happen.”
But he stressed: “I don’t for one second think it’s suicide in the conventional idea of what suicide is.”
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The Wham! legend was filming a programme for Channel 4 in the UK when he died suddenly on Christmas Day 2016.
He finished compiling the documentary less than 36 hours before he died.
Desert Island Discs broadcaster Kirsty Young interviewed Michael for the documentary saying: “He was optimistic and in the moment. He said to me that he felt the thing that he would do next would be his best thing ever.
“When I spoke to George, the future was in front of him. There was something on the horizon. He was talking about something new. George hinted about new projects, but refused to give details.”