Male Celebs Who Left Their Women For Men

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The norms around sexuality continue to shift and redefine themselves. Point in case: We're now discussing pansexual Star Wars characters. But for a long time in Hollywood, sexual fluidity was newsworthy stuff. In fact, the concept of a celeb being "secretly gay" used to be, and in some cases still is, a staple of tabloid reporting.

Instead of making this a "gay or straight" thing, we're going to focus on how the public sexuality of some famous men evolved over time. After all, isn't it a miracle when any Hollywood romance stands the test of time? And besides, the details of these relationships are far more interesting than the genders of those involved.

For example, one of these men had a sexual awakening after a drunken hookup. Another seemingly struggled with his sexuality his whole life, having at one point been out and proud in the mid-'90s, but then renouncing homosexuality as a sin in his older years. These are the male celebs who left their women for men.  

Ricky Martin

Singer Ricky Martin came out by releasing a statement on his website (via The Mirror) in March 2010. "I am proud to say that I am a fortunate homosexual man," he wrote. "I am very blessed to be who I am."

It was a disappointment to his many female admirers, and a shock to some, but apparently not to his longtime girlfriend, Mexican TV host Rebecca de Alba. Speaking with Vulture (via the Toronto Sun), Martin referenced their nine-year relationship without naming her by saying, "And I had this woman who was amazing. Unfortunately, we don't talk anymore, but she was amazing, and she was powerful and she knew about me. She knew I was gay, but we were together."

Martin also said that after their split, he focused primarily on work, but that through the '90s and early 2000s, he had both girlfriends and boyfriends. Martin later met the love of his life, Swedish artist Jwan Yosef (above) in 2016, after exchanging messages on Instagram for six months, according to Attitude Magazine (via People).

"I am marrying this guy," Martin thought to himself upon first laying eyes on Yosef. The pair fulfilled that romantic prophecy in 2017 when they wed in a secret ceremony.  

Little Richard

Of all the men on this list, singer Little Richard has probably caused the most controversy with his statements on sexuality. From declaring himself an "omnisexual" to denouncing homosexuals as "sick," the "Tutti Frutti" singer's spectrum of personal beliefs have been all over the place.

His latest stance, according to The Advocate, appears to be anti-homosexual again, based on remarks he made during a September 2017 interview on the Three Angels Broadcasting Network. He described relationships other than between a man and a woman as "unnatural affection."

Richard previously identified himself as gay to Penthouse in 1995, saying he'd been that way his "whole life." He reiterated that position in 2012, when he spoke with GQ about his relationships with two women: Lee Angel, whom he dated off-and-on for years after meeting her in 1956; and Ernestine Campbell, to whom he was married from 1959 to 1961. He said they both confused his homosexuality as just a preference for self-pleasure, of which he indulged "eight or nine times a day."  

To complicate matters even further, both Angel and Campbell still adamantly deny Richards' own claims of homosexuality. Speaking with GQ, Angel said that she had "never seen anybody except me touch Rich." Campbell told biographer Charles White that Richard's alleged homosexuality "had nothing to do with our separation and break-up."

Richard never publicly confirmed a relationship with a man, though several of his post-marriage statements about his sexuality seem to indicate that was certainly the case.

Alan Cumming

Scottish actor Alan Cumming spoke about his bisexuality at length in a 2003 interview with The Guardian, revealing that he almost married a second woman, Saffron Burrows, after divorcing his first wife, British actress Hilary Lyon, in 1993. "That would have been disastrous," he said, adding that Burrows also "bats for both teams." That is, of course, a colloquialism for bisexuality, which Cumming said was his inclination both before and after his marriage to Lyon and relationship with Burrows, although he eventually "started to bat for the other team a bit more heavily." 

After an ensuing period of what The Guardian described as "a wholeheartedly hedonistic lifestyle," Cumming settled down with one man, graphic artist Grant Shaffer (above), whom he met in 2005 and married in London in 2007, reported People

In 2013, Cumming further clarified his sexuality by telling Instinct Magazine, "I still define myself as a bisexual even though I have chosen to be with Grant." He added, "I'm sexually attracted to the female form even though I am with a man and I just feel that bisexuals have a bad rap."

Freddie Mercury

For as flamboyant as legendary Queen frontman Freddie Mercury was onstage, he was just as introverted about his private life. Notoriously press shy, the "Bohemian Rhapsody" singer didn't even reveal his AIDS diagnosis to the public until the day before he died of complications from the illness. He was just as private about his sexuality, choosing instead to remain relatively mum about it while simultaneously feeding into wild press speculation with ever-increasing onstage flair.

Mercury did have a well-known and lifelong companion in Mary Austin, the woman he dated for six years before ending the relationship by coming out to her as bisexual. According to an archived interview with OK! Magazine, Austin said that it was her decision to then move out of the home she shared with Mercury, although he insisted she live close by. Austin remained extremely close to Mercury and cared for him at his bedside until his death in November 1991.

Authors Matt Richards and Mark Langthorne tell a slightly different version of Mercury's "coming out" story in their biography, "Somebody to Love: The Life, Death, and Legacy of Freddie Mercury (via The Advocate). They wrote that when Mercury told Austin he was bisexual, she replied, "No Freddie, you're gay." Richards and Langthorne also maintain that Mercury referred to Austin as "the love of his life" even after he moved onto "a long-term relationship with another man."

Lance Bass

Many of the previous examples on this list deserve a bit of an asterisk, but none more than former NSYNC member, Lance Bass, who vaguely confessed to E! News (via Access Hollywood) in 2007 that he was married to a woman "for, like, five minutes." How exactly did that happen? Glad you asked.

Sometime in "1999 or 2000" — Bass couldn't be sure, because who even keeps track of that sort of thing? — he tied the knot with "a friend" in Vegas on a whim. He said, "the only reason we did it is because we wanted to get free drinks all night," but that the ruse didn't work. They got no drinks. Bass declined to give any further details about his prank wedding other than to say that he and his ex-wife are still "friends" and "it's great." 

Bass married artist Michael Turchin (above) in 2014, recording the nuptials for an E! News special, making them "the first-ever same sex couple to be married on an American television network." Hopefully, there was at least a complimentary glass of bubbly for the happy couple that time around.

Elgin Charles

Celebrity hair stylist and reality TV star Elgin Charles' seven-year marriage to Sister Sister star Jackée Harry ended in 2003. The pair remained more than amicable. They even continued to live together as of 2015, when they appeared on an episode of Celebrity Wife Swap. During the episode, Charles said, "We had the quickest Hollywood divorce ever." Harry agreed, claiming, "We discussed it, and what I needed. He did it for me."

Charles opened up about his marriage to Harry and came out as bisexual in his 2018 memoir, By the Way. Published excerpts in The Advocate indicate that Charles felt the marriage ended simply because they grew apart. He also confessed, "But there's a different kind of love there. ... It's not an eros love where it's sexual. But it's love, where you're making sure someone's OK and you're there for them."

In a May 2018 interview with The Advocate, Charles also revealed that he was as yet unaware of Harry's response to the memoir, although she did know that he was going to "tell his story." It's unclear exactly with whom Charles dated after Harry, but when asked if he had "a lover" during an infamous 2011 appearance on The Wendy Williams Show, he replied, "I've had many of them. I'm 50 years old, so I've done it all!"

Cary Grant

Classic screen legend Cary Grant was the subject of gay rumors for virtually his entire career. According to the New York Post, the infatuation got to the point where Grant "threatened to sue" a 1940s gossip columnist and "brought a defamation suit" against comedian Chevy Chase for a homophobic joke he told about the actor in 1980.

Speculation surrounding Grant focused on his alleged relationships with famed costumed designer Orry-Kelly and fellow actor Randolph Scott (above right). Grant lived with both men on-and-off throughout his life, most notably with Scott following the failure of his marriage to actress Virginia Cherrill in 1935. Grant and Scott also co-habitated "after Scott's first marriage ... to a duPont heiress ended," reported the Post.

Grant never publicly acknowledged any sort of gay relationship and even allegedly took steps to keep Kelly from publishing a memoir that detailed their companionship. Cary died in 1986, while married to his fifth wife, Barbara Harris.

Clive Davis

Out of all of the men on this list, music mogul Clive Davis is perhaps the most open about his sexuality. In his 2013 memoir, The Soundtrack of My Life (via The Guardian), he describes the exact moment of his sexual awakening.

While married to his second wife, Janet Adelberg, Davis had a drunken sexual encounter with a man, of which he wrote, "Was I nervous? Absolutely. Did the heavens open up? No. But it was satisfying." After that, he separated from Adelberg and pursued relationships with both men and women.

Since that exploratory period, Davis has been in two long-term relationships with two different men since 1990, neither of whom he ever publicly named. The only other blip on Davis' public relationship radar is a 2014 allegation by his friend Rosanna Krekel's then-estranged husband, who claimed that she and Davis had an affair. Davis never commented on the allegation.

Bryan Lourd

Bryan Lourd (above left) wasn't exactly famous per se, but he is a powerful Hollywood agent who dated the late actress and author Carrie Fisher in the early '90s. They conceived a daughter, actress Billie Lourd, in 1992. Soon after she was born, Lourd left Fisher for a man, according to the Daily Mail.

Fisher eventually dished the dirt on the failed marriage in her comedic 2009 memoir, Wishful Drinking (via Page Six). She wrote, "He told me later that I had turned him gay ... by taking codeine again. And I said, 'You know, I never read that warning on the label.' I thought it said 'heavy machinery,' not homosexuality — turns out I could have been driving those tractors all along!" 

Though Fisher learned to view that experience with humor and maintained a close co-parenting relationship with Bryan, she said the breakup was devastating at the time. "He should have told me, but he wanted a child and so did I, and he thought he'd be able to change," she told the Daily Mail. "He lied out of fear, he wanted to be heterosexual." 

Bryan married restaurateur Bruce Bozzi (above right), in October 2016. 

Elton John

Elton John came out as bisexual in a Rolling Stone interview in 1976. It was regarded as a groundbreaking moment for LGBTQ acceptance in spite of the fact the John later mused that his sexuality was "not exactly a secret." He told Today in 2012 (via the Daily Mail) that at the time of the Rolling Stone interview he was even "openly gay outside" and "living with his manager."

Eight years after the Rolling Stone reveal, John raised all kinds of eyebrows when he married German sound engineer Renate Blauel, then divorced her four years later. According to Hello!, John never publicly addressed the marriage until a 2017 Instagram post in which he revealed that it failed because "I denied who I really was." John also described Blauel as "a wonderful woman for whom I have so much love and admiration," adding that their divorce caused her "sadness" and him "huge guilt and regret."

John met David Furnish (above) in 1993. They entered into a civil partnership in London in 2005, shortly after a law passed that allowed same-sex couples to do so, reported The Guardian. They married in the United States on the ninth anniversary of their partnership.