Freddie Mercury stopped taking AIDS medication that was keeping him alive two weeks before his death: 'He knew it was coming'
Mercury died from complications of his AIDS in 1991, and personal assistant Peter Freestone said it was a decision he consciously made.
Peter Freestone, who was one of legendary Queen frontman Freddie Mercury's best friends as well as his personal assistant, has spoken up about his relationship with the singer and revealed details about the weeks leading up to his death.
Mercury died on November 24, 1991, at the age of 45 at his home in Kensington due to bronchial pneumonia resulting from AIDS, a disease he confirmed he had just a day before his passing.
Speaking on Lorraine, Freestone, who Mercury lovingly called 'Phoebe,' said the singer was aware that the AIDS would eventually kill him and decided to stop using the medication that was keeping him alive two weeks before his death in a bid to gain control over the disease.
"He knew it was coming, this is the thing," he revealed. "He decided two weeks before the end he would have no more drugs that were keeping him alive. He would have just the painkillers. He was in control, although the disease was killing him. He still had that control."
Freestone is a regular guest speaker at AIDS awareness events, Queen fan conventions, and schools across the world, and is looking to raise educate more people about HIV/AIDS, which he said is not talked about enough.
"Because young people now in schools, it's never mentioned, it's not talked about," he explained. "So they don't know what is out there and it still kills. So that's part of the job."
He reminisced about the first time he ever met Mercury while he was working at the Royal Opera House, where the singer was called to perform as a special guest star for a charity show put on by the Royal Ballet.
"I met him afterward and said it was absolutely amazing, he was so polite, he was a real gentleman," he said. "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."
Their friendship blossomed from there, with Freestone explaining that his job was to make Mercury's life easier. "I paid the bills, I did the shopping, I answered the phone... so he could create the music. He had the hard job, he made the music. I had the easy job, I spent the money," he said.
Freestone said Mercury was "the kindest, most generous, loyal friend anybody could wish to have," adding that he would do anything for his friends and that, in return, his friends were ready to do anything for him.