George Michael's mother was desperate to shield him from a gay "gene".

The late singer said in interviews over the years that his mum Lesley was very protective of him. She feared he would suffer mental health problems if he was homosexual as she felt his father wouldn't accept him.

And Lesley was particularly concerned because her brother Colin, who was believed to have been secretly gay, and their father committed suicide after George was born in 1963, sparking her fears of a hereditary connection.

George previously said: "She almost felt like she had brought the gene. So there were very pointed areas where she let my dad be - supposedly protectively - homophobic.

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"There was this gay waiter who lived above our family restaurant and I wasn't allowed to go to the top flat when he was in the restaurant... in case I caught something. In case I caught gay.

"Knowing my father, he couldn't even consider he had a gay son because he is of his generation, a Greek Cypriot man. But my mother was afraid of my father's judgment of me. I also now realise she was afraid that if the 'gene' was in me it would turn out the same."

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And the Careless Whisper singer - who came out to his parents when he was 29 following the death of his partner Anselmo Feleppa from an Aids-related illness - also previously spoke of how his mother had a huge "fear" of him being gay.

He said in 2007: "My mother had this fear of me being gay. She had this definite fear that I was going to be like her brother. She thought it meant I wouldn't cope with life."

When he eventually did come out, George, who openly battled depression during his life, was able to put his mother's worries at ease.

He previously said: "I wrote them a four-page letter which was the easiest thing I've ever written considering it was the only unresolved issue - to come out to my parents.

"My mum said it was the most beautiful letter she had ever read, that it explained completely how I felt and why she didn't have to worry about me. It was the easiest thing that should have been the most difficult."