Freddie Mercury’s longtime assistant is claiming the late rock star stopped medicating in the weeks before his death as a way to assert “control” over his illness. During a Tuesday interview on U.K. talk show Lorraine, Peter Freestone said Mercury knew his death was coming.
Freestone met Mercury while working at the Royal Opera House in London and worked for him until the Queen frontman’s death from an AIDS-related illness in 1991. As he described on Lorraine, Mercury “decided two weeks before the end he would have no more drugs that were keeping him alive.”
“He was in control,” he said, “although the disease was killing him.”
Freestone also described meeting Mercury at the Royal Opera House, where the global superstar performed “Crazy Little Thing Called Love” and “Bohemian Rhapsody” in 1979. “I met him afterwards and said it was absolutely amazing, he was so polite, he was a real gentleman,” Freestone recalled. “He said he'd seen me at the Opera House. I explained I looked after costumes and that was the end of the conversation, but he was so warm.
Mercury’s onetime assistant had nothing but good things about his former boss. “I've said it before and I will say it forever: He was the kindest, most generous, loyal friend anybody could wish to have,” Freestone insisted. “He would do anything for his friends, but the thing is on the other side his friends would do anything for him.”
Last year, Bohemian Rhapsody told an imperfect but profitable version of Mercury’s rise to fame as the frontman of Queen, grossing over $900 million at the box office.