British singer George Michael was frightened to tell his mother he was homosexual - as she was afraid it was a disease.
The Outside star admits his mother Lesley - who died in 1997 - refused to let him interact with a local gay waiter while growing up in case he suffered the same fate of her brother - Michael's uncle - who committed suicide.
He tells British magazine Gay Times, "My mother had this fear of me being gay. She had this definite fear that I was going to be like her brother - she thought that it meant I wouldn't cope with life. She almost felt like she had brought this gene.
"There was this gay waiter who lived above our family restaurant and I wasn't allowed to go to the top flat when he was in the restaurant. You know, in case I caught something. In case I caught gay. I also now realise she was afraid that if the 'gene' was in me it would turn out the same way for me as it had for (my late uncle) Colin. My mother didn't talk about her brother until I was 16. I don't know if that was a decision on her part or whether she just plucked up the courage.
"It changed my opinion of her entirely because it wasn't just that - she's also seen her own father die the same way. They'd both put their heads in the gas oven. And, lucky old Mum, she found both of them."
But Michael insists the experience brought mother and son closer together in the end: "She spent years being so remorseful that it's impossible to hold that time against her. And in the last 20 years of her life, I don't think we had a cross world actually.'