Was Jonathan Knight forced to come out as gay? How the singer's love life and sexuality was cruelly outed
Having your personal life put on display is a person's worst nightmare, but Jonathan Knight handled this seemingly awful situation with grace
Fame comes with a price. And in most cases, that price is a chance at having a quiet and peaceful private life. While being a celebrity has its obvious perks, being in the limelight 24/7 does take its toll on a person. After all who wants their personal life on display all the time?
When Jonathan Knight left New Kids On The Block in 1994, he began a career in real estate shortly after, choosing not to make public appearances and laying low in general for most of the '90s and 2000s. Seeing that not much was heard about Knight himself, not much was known about his dating life either, apart from the relationships he was in when he was in the limelight, his most famous one being with Tiffany, who was also an 80s pop star.
However, seeing that Knight disappeared from the public eye post the band's split, his personal life wasn't discussed much after. But in 2010, when news hit that Knight was gay, people were taken by surprise, especially because the news didn't come from Knight himself, he was outed. So, who brought out his personal information?
The news was reported by The National Enquirer
In 2010, The National Enquirer published private images of the former singer, outing him as gay publicly, something Knight himself hadn't done yet. The images were of him and his then-boyfriend, Kyle Walker, who he dated for 18 months, until they split. Walker even spoke about their relationship. “We had a wonderful relationship. I was in love with him and I believe he was in love with me" said Walker back then. However, their difference in lifestyle choices proved to be a hindrance, seeing that Knight led a very simple lifestyle as opposed to Walker, which ultimately led to their breakup. Walker was paid $10,000 dollars for the images. It felt like a breach of privacy, to see private information of Knight's life make it to the headlines. But, as reported by Go Social, he addressed the whole incident in a 2011 interview. “I have lived my life very openly and have never hidden the fact that I am gay.” He even spoke about it at length later, adding to his statement on the New Kids on the Block blog that he didn't feel the need to publicize the fact that he's gay “Apparently the prerequisite to being a gay public figure is to appear on the cover of a magazine with the caption ‘I am gay’. I apologize for not doing so if this is what was expected! “ he added.
Who released this information, Tiffany or Knight's ex-boyfriend?
Although it was an ex-boyfriend who outed Knight, it was Tiffany, his former girlfriend who got a lot of heat for the situation. In 2011, she made an appearance on 'Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen', where she spoke about their relationship. When Cohen asked if she'd dated anyone famous, she mentioned Knight and also joked about how she thought he turned gay post their relationship. News sources ran with this information, implying that Tiffany outed him, when the news had already broken a year ago. Knight was also dating his now-husband, Harley Rodrigues for about 3 years by then, so it wasn't even a secret. That didn't stop people from blaming Tiffany for 'releasing' this information. In an interview with ET Online in 2019, Knight even addressed the issue. “The thing I hate the most is that she’s always quoted as the one who ‘outed’ me when in 2010 my ex-boyfriend sold pictures to The National Enquirer for $10,000. So, everybody already knew then!” He said.
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The two have remained good friends ever since. "It’s great to see him happy and Harley’s beautiful. They’re both gorgeous men! I’m glad he’s living his life and being authentic" Tiffany said, in the same interview.
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