Everyone knows that Freddie called Mary Austin the “love of my life. ” He even wrote a song about it. But why was their bond so special? And why did it endure decades after they had split up and Freddie accepted he preferred to be with men? Their relationship was built on unshakable love, devotion and trust. In fact, from the very earliest days, Mary demonstrated why Freddie could rely on her above all others.
In a new documentary about the Queen singer, Freddie Mercury: A Christmas Story, on Channel 5, those that knew Freddie best talked about their friend and his love for Mary.
Peter Freestone was Freddie’s live-in PA for the last 13 years of his life. He said: “She (Mary) was incredibly important. Don’t forget, she looked after him for the first years when he wasn’t making a penny and Mary was working.
“So she paid the rent, she paid for everything when they were living together from 1969.”
And when Freddie’s AIDS starting to take a terrible toll on his health, Mary was there.
Together with Freddie’s partner Jim Hutton, Peter Freestone and Freddie’s ex-boyfriend Joe Fanelli, she was one of the few people who were permitted to be with Freddie every day, caring for him in his final months.
Friend and journalist David Wigg said: “She used to sit with him for six hours… He asked whether she’d put on a video of a concert he’d done. At the end of it, he turned to her and said, ‘I was handsome then, wasn’t I?’ and she’d say, ‘You’re still handsome now.’ It was very touching. Very sad.”
Freddie once said; “There have only been two individuals who have given back as much love to me as I gave to them: Mary, with whom I had a long affair, and our cat, Jerry.
“My bond with Mary seems to grow and grow…
“I’ll love her until I draw my last breath.”
And he did.