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They sped down to Ibiza harbour in two top-of-the-range Bentleys with Kate Moss and Annabelle Rothschild. For he was a man surrounded by celebrity “friends” – but who often felt alone.
And beneath the showbiz veneer of air-kisses and hugs, Mc Queen didn’t know many of them that deeply himself.
“When the shows and parties are over, there are very few people from that world you can really call your friends.
“I didn’t think Lee would ever take his own life, but after losing his mum he obviously felt he couldn’t cope any more.
It’s a tragic loss, not just to fashion, but to all the people who really knew Lee and knew, like I did, that he was a truly beautiful person.” George still can’t believe Mc Queen is dead. Lee adored her.” George married Mc Queen, son of an East End taxi driver, in an outlandishly flamboyant ceremony on the three-storey yacht in August 2000. Everybody wanted to be his friend and he attracted a lot of hangers-on.
“I always thought he was strong enough to deal with anything,” he says. They split a year later, but after 18 months without speaking, formed a close friendship and always kept in touch. “Don’t get me wrong, we both loved the scene and made the most of the constant partying, flowing champagne and non-stop cocaine.
And, recalling the suicide three years ago of Mc Queen’s closest friend and mentor, style icon Isabella Blow, he says: “Just before she passed away Lee asked me to see her in hospital because he couldn’t bear to. There were countless times when we partied for days without even thinking about sleep.
“But away from that, away from Alexander Mc Queen, he was just a normal bloke.
The night he sold half his business to Gucci for £50million (in December 2000) we celebrated with a bag of chips and a bottle of Bacardi Breezer.
“He had great friends from the scene like Naomi Campbell, Kate Moss, Sadie Frost and Davinia Taylor, but they were party friends, not people he’d confide in.” George, an artist from North London, had met Lee in a gay bar in 1999. It was only the next day my mates told me he was Alexander Mc Queen.
I’d never heard of him, I had to ask my mum who he was.” The pair had a whirlwind romance and in just five weeks George had moved into Mc Queen’s flat in Islington, London.
“Soon after, he asked if I fancied going to a party says George. “It was only when I got to the entrance I realised we were at a Vogue party.
“He didn’t tell me anything about it and we were wearing trainers and ripped jeans. Everyone was beautiful and decked out in designer clothes and there was expensive champagne on tap.