That time George Michael came out on national television: “I don’t feel any shame whatsoever.”
It was April 1998. After being arrested in Beverly Hills for “lewd conduct” for propositioning an undercover cop for sex, George Michael sat down with CNN for an interview to discuss the arrest as well as his sexuality, which, up until then, he had kept ambiguous.
When asked about that ambiguity, 34-year-old Michael replied, “It works very successfully in pop culture because it means, especially if you’re trying to communicate something emotional, or sexual, that you’re communicating with both men and women…My sexuality was not cut and dried.”
Later in the interview, Michel said that he didn’t have his first gay relationship until he was 27.
“I spent the first half of my career being accused of being gay when I hadn’t had anything like a gay relationship,” he explained. “So I spent my years growing up being told what my sexuality was … which was kind of confusing.”
He continued: “I want to say that I have no problem with people knowing that I’m in a relationship with a man right now. I have not been in a relationship with a woman for almost 10 years.”
And as for the arrest and everyone learning that, yeah, OK, he’s gay, Michael said: “I think having done something as stupid as that…I’m a very proud man. I want people to know that I have not been exposed as a gay man in any way that…I don’t feel any shame. I feel stupid and I feel reckless and weak for having allowed my sexuality to be exposed this way. But I don’t feel any shame whatsoever and neither do I think I should.”
Watch the powerful interview below…