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Sir Elton John’s mum tried to stop his civil partnership because she was jealous

Lily Wakefield October 7, 2019
Elton John

Sir Elton John and David Furnish attend the first “Midsummer Party” hosted by Elton John and David Furnish to raise funds for the Elton John Aids Foundation on July 24, 2019. (Daniele Venturelli/Daniele Venturelli/Getty)

Elton John and his husband David Furnish were the first same-sex couple in England to get a civil partnership, but he has revealed that his mother tried to stop it happening because she was jealous.

His memoir Me is being serialised in the Daily Mail, and he said that on the day of the ceremony on December 21 2005 his mother Sheila arrived “in character as a raving sociopath”.

He wrote: “The first sign of something wrong was when she arrived at Woodside with [my stepfather] Derf and wouldn’t get out of the car.

“Despite various entreaties to come into the house, they just sat there, stony-faced.

“Then mum announced she wouldn’t be joining the convoy of cars setting off for Windsor, nor would she be coming to the private lunch afterwards. And with that, she and Derf suddenly drove off.

“The most important day of my life and one of mum’s moods appeared to be upon us, the ones I’d lived in terror of when I was young.”

He described her bad behaviour throughout the day, including “talking, very loudly, over the top of us” when they exchanged vows, but said he didn’t realise that jealousy had been her motivation until later on.

Sir Elton John and David Furnish's Civil Partnership Ceremony
Sir Elton John and David Furnish’s Civil Partnership Ceremony, 2005. (Mike Marsland/WireImage)

Elton John said that his mother was so jealous, she “didn’t care” about his happiness.

Speaking to Furnish’s parents before the ceremony, she had said she didn’t want them to have their civil partnership recognised at all.

John continued: “My mother told them they all had to work together to stop the civil partnership going ahead. She didn’t approve of two men ‘getting married’, as she put it.

“Everyone she’d spoken to was horrified by the very idea. It was going to hurt my career… It didn’t make sense. Mum had always been incredibly hard work, but she had never been homophobic.

“As ever, I think the real problem was that she hated anyone being closer to me than she was.”

He said that his mother had not been worried about his previous relationships being long-term.

“She knew my boyfriends were never going to turn into a long-term relationship: I was too erratic because of all the cocaine I was taking back then.

“She knew my first marriage wouldn’t last because I was gay. But now I was sober and settled with a man I was deeply in love with. I’d found a life partner, and the civil partnership underlined that.

“She couldn’t cope with the thought of the umbilical cord finally being cut and she didn’t care about anything else, including the fact that I was finally happy.”

Me by Elton John will be published on October 15.

More: civil partnership, David Furnish, Elton John, memoir, wedding

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