Freddie Mercury’s wild parties
HE'S known for his relationships with men but Queen frontman Freddie Mercury secretly had dozens of relationships with women, including famous models and actors.
As a new film about his life starts showing in Australia on November 1, The Sun reveals the bevy of beautiful women who found their way into the musician's bed and heart and the candid details of the parties he threw where dwarfs served cocaine to celebrity guests.
Even though Mercury was a star of galactic proportions, he still managed to keep many of the details of his drug-fuelled parties, kinky sex life and his relationships with women private.
As biographer Lesley-Ann Jones, who toured with Queen at the height of their fame, told The Sun of the star's ability to keep secrets: "There were lots of Freddies.
"He was quite shy. But he lived fast, died young and left a beautiful corpse."
Here, The Sun reveals some of the secrets of his scandalous showbiz past.
WILD PARTIES WHERE DWARFS SERVED COCAINE
At the peak of his career, flamboyant Freddie threw himself into the party scene with gusto.
Queen became known in the industry for throwing the most outrageous events, including a notorious bash at New Orleans' Fairmont Hotel in 1978.
The party, to celebrate the release of the album Jazz, reportedly featured naked waiters and waitresses, an entertainer biting heads off live chickens, nude models wrestling in a bath and an army of dwarfs walking around the venue with trays of cocaine strapped to their heads.
His wild partying ways were a far cry from his childhood where he spent time at a strict Indian school before fleeing to London with his family, aged eight.
350 BOTTLES OF CHAMPAGNE, 232 SMASHED GLASSES
Allegations of excessive drug use followed Freddie throughout his life, but he never put the brakes on his social life - even after he contracted HIV.
He celebrated his 41st birthday at the Pikes Hotel in Ibiza, just months after his diagnosis, with one of the wildest parties the island had ever seen.
Freddie invited 700 guests, including Kylie Minogue, Bon Jovi and Boy George, to witness a fireworks display so spectacular that it could be seen over 160km away in Majorca.
A staggering 350 bottles of Moet & Chandon champagne were poured over the course of the evening, and the final bar bill - presented to Queen's manager, Jim Beach, included the cost of 232 glasses which had been smashed.
PARTYING WITH PRINCESS DI, MICHAEL JACKSON, AND A LLAMA
By the mid-80s, Queen were so famous they began hanging out with the royals.
Freddie - born Farrokh Bulsara - was mates with Princess Diana, and it has been claimed that he once sneaked the late princess into a gay club.
The singer disguised Diana with a thick jacket, hat and sunglasses, and took her to the Royal Vauxhall Tavern where she spent a rare night away from the limelight as Freddie kept the crowds distracted.
But Freddie's high-profile friends weren't limited to Diana - he also had a close bond with Michael Jackson.
The two musical titans spent time recording together in 1983, but it was reported that some of Jackson's quirky behaviour pushed Freddie over the edge before they could finish anything.
Jim Beach has spoken about a memorable phone call where Freddie begged to put and end to recording.
"Michael's bringing his pet llama into the studio every day and I'm really not used to recording with a llama," Freddie said. "I've had enough and I'd like to get out."
However, it has also been claimed that Jackson pulled the plug on a session when he caught Freddie snorting coke through a hundred-dollar bill.
THE BLOND 'WIFE'
Freddie wrestled with his own sexuality throughout his life, sleeping with both men and women but rarely addressing his sexuality in public.
Although he never even told his parents he was bisexual, it was later claimed that he used the track Bohemian Rhapsody as his coming out song - hiding his feelings behind the obscure lyrics.
As for the women in his life, Freddie had two great loves: his pre-fame girlfriend Mary Austin, who he always thought of as a wife, and then later the Austrian actor Barbara Valentin - a bombastic blond with a fiery personality to match Freddie's.
Mary had always suspected that Freddie was gay, and he had been experimenting with men while they were together.
When Freddie died, Mary was the one who he left his money to in his will.
As for Barbara, Lesley-Ann said: "They met their match in each other. They were explosive and they lived recklessly.
"He was still having sexual affairs with men and quite often there were threesomes.
"That reckless lifestyle was getting the better of Freddie at the end but he didn't curb his behaviour.
"When asked if he was being more careful about his sex life he famously said: 'Darling, I'm doing everything with everybody.'"
Later in his life, Freddie began a long-term relationship with hairdresser Jim Hutton, who cared for him as his health deteriorated and lived with him for the last six years of his life.
When Freddie died, Jim was with him at his bedside, and Freddie allegedly took his last breath while wearing a wedding band that Jim had given him.
AN OBSESSIVE CAT LOVER
Freddie was a man of many obsessions, but outside of his wild love life, his strongest attachments were to the many stray cats he kept as pets.
He filled his home with them, and found it so difficult to be apart from his furry brood while Queen was touring that he would often phone home just to speak to them.
In 1991, the year he died, Freddie's tortoiseshell cat Delilah was so close to his heart that he named a song after her.
He also had other obsessions, amassing huge collections of stamps and Japanese art which he kept in his home.
"He was passionate about everything he did and obsessive as well," Lesley-Ann said. "His home was like a museum."
It was this obsessive personality which made Freddie so committed to his own art: making genre-defining music with his boundary-pushing bandmates.
"Queen argued like hell in the studio," Lesley-Ann said. "Freddie once said: 'We argue about the air we breathe.'
"That was why their music became so brilliant - because they worked so hard on it."
'LOVER OF LIFE, SINGER OF SONGS'
Freddie's late life was defined by his struggle with AIDS, although he never publicly confirmed that he had the disease until the day before he died.
Having conquered the world with Queen, the debilitating condition made the life of a rock star harder to maintain - with Freddie eventually spending his final days completely bed-bound.
Even Freddie's bandmates found him mysterious, although everyone who knew him was well aware of the immense talent and enormous presence which lay beneath his complex personality.
When he died in 1991, the music world was devastated, having lost a true icon who lived at lightning pace and continued to captivate long after his death.
It was hard to sum up the loss of his passing, but Queen icon Brian May offered the best, most succinct, obituary: "Freddie Mercury: lover of life and a singer of songs."
Bohemian Rhapsody: The Definitive Biography Of Freddie Mercury by Lesley-Ann Jones is published by Hodder & Stoughton.