Footballer John Fashanu has revealed he went to great lengths to keep his late brother, Justin, from coming out of the closet.
The former Wimbledon star went so far as to pay Justin, also a professional footballer, 75,000 pounds to keep him from publicly disclosing that he was gay.
When John was at the height of his sports career in 1990, Justin did decide to come out in an interview with The Sun.
A week later, John, now 53, gave an interview titled “my gay brother is an outcast.”
“It knocked us dead,” John said recently to The Mirror, recalling his older brother’s decision to come out.
He compared Justin’s revelation to being “like Hiroshima or Nagasaki on our lives.”
John said he “begged” and “threatened” Justin not to come out, and admits to offering the large sum of hush money.
Justin killed himself eight years later, and John regrets how he and his family reacted all those years ago.
“I was wrong,” he said. “It was ignorance on my behalf.”
“You’ve got to remember the public’s perception of homosexuality at that time was that it was an abomination. It was taboo.”
“I gave him the money because I didn’t want the embarrassment for me or my family,” he told The Mirror.
“Had he come out now, it would be a different ball game.”
In other interviews, however, John denies that his brother was even gay to begin with.