Andrew Ridgeley was afraid his bandmate would die of AIDS

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In his new book, Wham!: George & Me, Ridgeley recalled the moment when his bandmate told him he was gay. Andrew shares that the first reaction was fear that he would die of AIDS. In an excerpt seen by The Sun, Ridgley wrote that the atmosphere in the room was so calm and relaxing when George told him and their backing singer Shirley the truth about his sexuality. Ridgeley said he should have guessed it because George had never had a serious girlfriend, but as his friend Andrew did not care about it, he just wanted to see George happy. In 1983 the world was still in the midst of the HIV/AIDS pandemic, known then as “the gay plague”. Countless gay men were being struck down by the virus and there was a strong stigma surrounding the disease. Andrew was afraid it might affect his friend and take his life. But the singer never contracted the disease, instead passing away in December 2016 from heart and liver problems. In his book, Ridgeley also revealed that he still has “a number of questions” over his friend’s death and feels there hasn’t been “any real closure”.

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