Former BOYZONE star Stephen Gately has been beaten up in a violent attack outside a top London restaurant - by his "husband" and another man.

The FATHER AND SON singer was dining at THE IVY on Saturday (18OCT03) with ANDREW COWLES - who he wed in a "commitment" service at the VIVA LAS VEGAS WEDDING CHAPEL in August (03) - when the assault took place.

Gately was knocked over and reportedly punched and kicked in the attack, before photographer GREG BRENNAN stepped in and prevented the one-time singer suffering serious injury.

Brennan says, "I was talking to someone who was inside (the restaurant) and they said there was an exchange of words. Stephen was abusive and a bit loud. They were quarrelling so staff asked them to leave.

"The quarrelling continued on the street and then I heard the smack and Stephen took two punches to the face. He was nearly knocked over by the force of it. He was on the street and the guy gave him four or five more shots to the face. Then I saw him aim a kick at the back of his head."

The snapper continues, "Stephen took a terrible beating. I realised it was getting really ugly when I saw Cowles aim a kick at the back of his head. Stephen was screaming for help. I dropped the camera to break it up.

"The guy started screaming abuse at me then. He was just furious that I'd stopped him."

20/10/2003 13:45