Late Irish singer Stephen Gately was so paranoid about the press 'outing' him as a homosexual, he would scour the British tabloids for tell-all stories in the early hours of the morning, according to his widower ANDREW COWLES.
The gay Boyzone star shocked his female fanbase by revealing his true sexuality in 1999, making the announcement after hearing a former member of the band's security was allegedly set to sell the story.
And Cowles insists Gately's fear of telling the public left him with crippling shyness.
He tells Britain's Daily Mirror, "Stephen was a very private person. He was shy and a lot of that stemmed from the tough time he had with his sexuality. It was very difficult having to lie for the first years of his career. At his low point he would go out at 2am to buy the papers - scouring the tabloids in the middle of the night to see if anyone knew about him.
"Living under that kind of fear - it was wrong he had to do that. When he came out, it was a major step, it didn't matter that someone was going to sell the story, he came out with real dignity.
"He had so much mail from people saying 'I was going to kill myself, but I feel brave enough to live thanks to you.'"
Gately died suddenly in Majorca, Spain in October (09).