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Who Is Mary Austin? New Details About Freddie Mercury's Longtime Love

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Who Is Mary Austin? New Details About Freddie Mercury's Longtime Love

Queen front man Freddie Mercury once said: "I'll sleep with anything — man, woman, or cat!" While the flamboyant singer is largely thought to have been gay, he did have a significant relationship with a woman. That woman is Mary Austin. The two met when he was 24 and she was 19. In an interview in 1985, Mercury spoke about his long relationship with Mary, saying, "All my lovers asked me why they couldn't replace Mary, but it's simply impossible. The only friend I've got is Mary, and I don't want anybody else. To me, she was my common-law wife. To me, it was a marriage. We believe in each other, that's enough for me." Freddie and Mary lived together on and off for the better part of two decades. She was by his side as he died. He was her son's godfather. Mercury left the vast majority of his wealth, including his 28-room Georgian mansion in London and all recording royalties to Mary Austin. Who is Mary Austin?

1. They fell in love

Mercury and Austin met in 1969 when Mary was working at a clothing store in London called Biba. Mercury was not yet a member of Queen. Austin was drawn to the "wild looking artistic musician." They soon moved into a small apartment together. In an interview with the Daily Mail in 2013, she said, "He was like no one I had met before. He was very confident — something I have never been. We grew together." The two began dating and fell in love. Mercury proposed to Austin in 1973. He gave Austin a large box on Christmas Day. Inside the box was another box, and so on until it got down to the last small box. Inside was a jade ring. Austin was shocked. She whispered: "Yes, I will."


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2. Mary's early life

Mary Austin was born in 1951. She grew up in a poor family in the Battersea neighborhood of South London. Both of her parents were deaf. He father was a wallpaper trimmer and her mother was a maid.

3. After the engagement

1973 was also the year Queen's debut album was released. Over the next few years, Mercury's profile was on the rise alongside his band. The release of 1974's Sheer Heart Attack and 1975's A Night at the Opera, solidified Mercury's fame. The 1975 album contained the song Love of my Life, which Mercury reportedly wrote for Austin. While things were going very well for Mercury and Queen, at home his relationship with Mary began to falter. They had been dating for six years, engaged for two, and they were no longer talking about getting married. Austin began to suspect something was wrong and confronted him. She revealed to OK! that she told Mercury that she felt like a noose around his neck. Mercury insisted nothing was wrong, but the relationship cooled off after that. 


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4. Reveal of his sexuality

By 1976, Mercury was an international star. He was getting home later and later each night and Austin suspected he was having an affair with another woman. He was actually having an affair with a male record executive. Mercury decided to talk to Austin about the evolution of his sexuality. He told her he was bisexual. Austin told the Daily Mail: “I’ll never forget that moment. Being a bit naive, it had taken me a while to realize the truth. Afterwards he felt good about having finally told me he was bisexual. Although I do remember saying to him at the time, ‘No Freddie, I don’t think you are bisexual. I think you are gay.’” Freddie's revelation ended their romantic relationship. Austin moved to a nearby apartment that was bought for her by Mercury's music publishing company. 


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5. After their breakup

Freddie and Mary were no longer a couple, but she remained a part of his life and the band's extended circle. She went on the road with them. By the late 1970s, Mercury was living as a gay man. Mary and Freddie remained best friends. She was the most important person to Freddie. 


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6. 'Til death did they part

Austin had two children — one of whom Mercury was godfather to. She worked for his management company. When Mercury became ill from AIDS, she cared for him and remained by his side. Mercury left much of his estate and his London mansion to Mary, writing in his will, "You would have been my wife, and it would have been yours anyway." In fact, Mercury had referred to Austin as his wife frequently over the years, long after they broke up. Leaving the mansion to Mary was controversial at the time as Freddie had been in a long-term relationship with Jim Hutton. Mary Austin lives in the mansion to this day.

7. His ashes

Mercury entrusted Austin with his ashes and his wishes for them. He wanted his remains to be scattered in an undisclosed location. Austin has never revealed where his ashes were scattered and they never will as that was Freddie's wish. She waited two years after his death to remove them from the house and scatter them. She told the Daily Mail, “He didn’t want anyone trying to dig him up as has happened to some famous people. Fans can be deeply obsessive. He wanted it to remain a secret and it will remain so."


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Amy Lamare is a Los Angeles based freelance writer covering entertainment, pop culture, beauty, fashion, fitness, technology, and the intersection of technology, business, and philanthropy. She is deeply devoted to her chocolate Labrador and an avid long distance runner. You can find her on Instagram and Facebook.