Elton John’s husband David Furnish hit the bottle because he could not cope with his partner’s worldwide fame.
The 72-year-old musician and David were among the first couples to form a civil partnership in the U.K. when the union was legalised in 2005 and married in 2014 when gay marriage became legal.
In his new memoir, Me, the star reveals the 56-year-old developed a drinking problem because he struggled to live in the public eye and suffered loneliness because his husband was away on tour so much.
“I always thought David had slipped into Elton John World with remarkable ease and confidence, but it turned out that a lot of things I was completely used to living with, that I just saw as a fact of life, made him completely anxious,” the Rocket Man star penned. “He didn’t like being photographed all the time, or being under press scrutiny, or public speaking at (Elton John) AIDS Foundation events.”
Confessing there were empty wine bottles scattered around their homes throughout the world, Elton revealed the issue came to a head in Los Angeles in 2014, two days before he due to start a U.S. tour.
“David was feeling low and wanted me to stay the extra night with him. I said no. We had a huge row, I went anyway,” the Tiny Dancer star recalled. “The next morning, David called and we had a row that made the previous day’s row look like a light-hearted disagreement over what to have for lunch: the kind of argument where you come off the phone teary and reeling.
“In fact, the next time I heard from David, he had checked himself into a rehab clinic in Malibu. I was pleased he was getting treatment,” he continued.
The memoir, which details Elton’s rise to fame, his own battles with substance abuse, his experience of coming out as gay, and the couple’s life together, is available now.