Princess Diana has been praised for her charitable contributions, but her close friends remember her for her kindness. Michael Barrymore revealed that his close friendship with the Princess of Wales helped him share his truth with the world.
When the “Dancing On Ice” star met Diana, he was married to wife, Cheryl. However, in 1995, he came out as gay to a crowd at the White Swan bar in East London.
According to the Mirror, the actor’s confession ruined his marriage and had a damaging impact on his wife. Barrymore told The Guardian he wouldn’t have had the courage to come out if it wasn’t for Princess Diana.
"She was one who said you’ve got to stop being controlled. By that stage, I was just a clothes-horse. It got to the point where I would never look in the mirror even before I went out on stage - I just accepted what they had put on me,” he explained.
Barrymore claimed he struggled to live with the secret about his sexuality and became destructive. “I had to be Mr. Clean, right down to not a hair on my head being out of place, what jumper I wore, the way I walked. And eventually, I just thought: I want to be naughty,” he revealed.
The “Strike It Lucky” star went on to reveal that Princess Diana was able to benefit from his shocking announcement. “Her original comment was that she was glad when I was in the papers because it kept her off the front page,” he said.
Despite his close bond with the Princess of Wales, Cheryl didn’t appear to be supportive of their friendship. “[Diana] seemed to believe they could achieve something truly great and immortal together because they had the key to weeping massive public affection,” she wrote in her autobiography “Catch a Falling Star.”
In 1997, Princess Diana died following a car crash in Paris. Her death took an emotional toll on her loved ones like Barrymore, who has fond memories of his late friend.