The last days of Freddie Mercury: He died on his own terms, and after his death he left gifts for friends
The personal assistant of Freddie Mercury, Peter Phoebe Friston, revealed what the last days of the life of the lead singer of the music group "Queen" were like. He recalled the singer's shocking diagnosis and his determination to die "on his own terms". writes "Style".
Friston lived with the rock star during the period when Mercury was fighting a difficult battle with Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) and during the last days of the singer's life.
"I was the main cook in his home – waiter, butler, secretary, cleaner and aunt." "I was his bodyguard when needed and eventually became his nurse," Mercury's personal assistant said.
The assistant lived together with the singer, his partner Jim Hutton and their six cats.
"Freddy's house was a peaceful place. It was his home, a place where he felt safe. He could put on a tracksuit in the morning, be quiet if he wanted, sleep when he wanted or behave "inappropriately". Freddie loved to laugh, he was always one with people who made him laugh. When Freddy was alive, that place was the warmest place in the world, a place where everyone would want to stay. "Once he died, the place lost its luster," Friston recalled.
He did not want to accept the disease
When he was diagnosed with the disease, Mercury couldn't believe it was happening to him. He knew that the virus was spreading around the world, he knew that some of his friends were sick, but he never thought that it could happen to him.
"In those days, being diagnosed with AIDS meant a death sentence. Even today it is difficult, but now the end can be postponed. "I think Freddie had an idea that he was sick towards the beginning of 1987, but for a long time he tried to avoid the medical examination," the assistant recalled.
When the doctor tried to call him and inform him that he was infected with the HIV virus, the singer did not want to answer the phone call.
"Eventually, the doctor called Mary (Austin) and told her she needed to speak to Freddie urgently. Well, Mary had to convince Freddie to finally hear from the doctor. "He knew he was going to hear bad news, so he didn't want to hear the doctor's words."
Friston believes that when Mercury's illness began to develop, the singer knew his days were numbered. Well, on November 23, 24 hours before he died, he confirmed the news that he was suffering from AIDS with a statement to the media.
"After numerous assumptions in the press in the past two weeks, I want to confirm that my HIV test was positive and that I have AIDS. I felt it was only right to keep this information a secret until today, to preserve the privacy of those around me. However, now is the time for my friends and fans around the world to know the truth and I hope that everyone will join me, my doctors, and everyone in the world in the fight against this terrible disease. My privacy has always been very important to me and I am known for my few interviews. Please understand that this principle will continue," Mercury's final statement read.
In just over 24 hours, Mercury died at the age of 45, at his home in Kensington. The official cause of death was bronchopneumonia caused by AIDS.
"We all hoped that he had days, months of fighting ahead of him, but I think Freddie himself decided that he's had enough and it's time to leave on his own terms," Friston concluded.
A modest burial
"His funeral was very modest, atypical for a global superstar. It was held with some of his close friends and family,” shared his assistant.
“Freddie never talked about his funeral when he was alive. As he said in an interview, he didn't care what happened after he died. He said to his manager, 'You can do whatever you want with my legacy, just don't make me look boring,'" he added.
No one, except his ex-fiancée Mary Austin, does not know where his urn is. Mercury entrusted her with this task because he didn't want fans to "upset" him when he passed away.
A few days after his death, his best friends received gifts and farewell letters from the singer.