Freddie Mercury: Sister recalls last two weeks of his life

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Freddie Mercury: A Life In Ten Pictures explores the private life of the late Queen star through archived footage and photographs. Within the BBC documentary, the singer’s ex Rose Pearson revealed Freddie was “devastated” when she called off their relationship. Rose explained Freddie’s struggles with his sexuality eventually drove them apart. 

When the singer arrived in England in the 1960s homosexuality was illegal even after its partial decriminalisation in 1967. 

In an unearthed interview used in the documentary, Rose opened up about her relationship with Freddie in the 1960s. 

While they were at Ealing Art College together Rose took Freddie to the V&A in London and said he was intrigued by Edward Muybridge’s photographs of men wrestling in the nude. 

She later realised they should part ways, and explained the heartbreaking moment she broke up with him during an interview on the BBC programme. 

Rose said: “I thought, what’s going on? I don’t love this guy, I am infatuated with him because he is such an interesting person.”

“But I don’t love him because I can’t identify with him,” she admitted. 

Rose revealed Freddie was “devastated” after she rejected him as “he had not seen it coming at all”.

“So I think he was an exceedingly tortured man, keeping that quiet as it were, and the only thing that he had was his voice really.”

“Him and his voice were best friends,” she said with a comforting smile. 

Rose approached Freddie in the 1960s after she had starred as a dancer on Top of the Pops but he did not know what the show was.  

When she told him all of the art students danced on the programme, he said: “I am going to be on that show one day.” 

They soon bonded over art, with Rose describing Freddie as “striking looking” and “very charismatic”. 

“He was very shy because of his teeth so he didn’t smile very much,” she explained. 

She went on to say he struggled to fit in with the rest of the college students as he was “a bit of a fish out of water”. 

“But I was rather intrigued by the people who didn’t fit in rather than the people who did,” Rose stated. 

Despite the Queen singer’s inner struggles, Rose confirmed they were in a physical relationship. 

“I think I was Freddie’s first girlfriend,” she said in a 2019 interview. “We had a physical relationship and he was a very ardent lover.”

“He was charismatic, dressed outrageously – sometimes in shorts, no top and a fur coat – and was determined to make it as a singer. 

“He was a clown, so much fun to be around. Freddie was also the only truly fearless person I ever met.”

A Life in Ten Pictures: Freddie Mercury is available to watch on BBC iPlayer. 

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