Celebrity

Stephen Fry opens up about terrifying homophobic attack by ‘furious skinhead’

Lily Wakefield March 9, 2022
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Stephen Fry

Stephen Fry. (Getty/ Matthew Eisman)

Stephen Fry has recalled a terrifying homophobic attack by a “furious skinhead” at a football match, which left him “trembling”.

Fry, 64, recalled the incident, which took place at an FA Cup match at London’s Wembley Stadium, on food critic Jay Rayner’s Out To Lunch podcast.

He said: “I remember once going to the FA Cup in Wembley and, as I was walking in, there was this furious face suddenly loomed right in front of me.

“It was a skinhead and [he said], ‘You’re a f***ing p**f, I’m gonna f***ing get you.'”

Fry responded with a simple “that’s right, dear”, but the situation escalated.

“He went crazy and he was coming towards me, and his friend started to pull him back, and then other people said, “Go away, go away, go”,” he said.

“And I realised that person, his eyes were genuinely filled with hate, and he would have quite happily nutted me and stamped on my head and that is a shock.”

Fry said he was left “trembling for hours afterwards”, and that he feels he was unprepared because that kind of barefaced homophobia is a rarity for him.

“It was innocent and pathetic of me because lots of people live in that fear of physical violence much closer to them all their lives,” he said.

“It’s so rare for me that it really was a shock.”

Stephen Fry ‘hated’ the gay scene in 1980s London

The actor, comedian and writer also discussed the period of his life during which he made the decision to remain celibate.

This time was coincidentally when the AIDS crisis was beginning in London. Although he believes his period of celibacy allowed him to “dodge” the virus, Stephen Fry said that his decision was not because of a “fear of AIDS”.

He said: “I threw myself into work and wasn’t interested in having partners, not because of AIDS, it was just a fear of that [gay] scene, and not liking it, and just feeling inadequate sexually and physically.”

“I hated going in to gay clubs,” he explained.

“I hated being stared at, those eyes raking up and down as you walked in, and then turning away with obvious contempt and lack of interest.

“I couldn’t bear the loud music and the dancing at places like Heaven and places like that… It was just about looks, it made me very unhappy.”

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