Louis Walsh reveals he helped Stephen Gately hide his sexuality from the press

Louis Walsh has opened up about his time spent with former Boyzone member Stephen Gately, saying he helped cover up the late singer's sexuality during his early days in the boyband. Walsh, who managed the band between 1993 and 2008, told  Radio 2’s Paper Cuts series that Gately was scared that his career would be over if he came out as gay. The singer, who passed away suddenly in 2009 from an undiagnosed heart condition, was eventually outed by The Sun in 1999.

"He was dreading all of his life that this was going to ruin his career," Walsh explained. "He was in the end [outed] by The Sun but it didn't matter, in fact it was the best thing for him, he was free then, he had nothing to hide."

The newly- reinstated X Factor judge went on to admit that he fed stories to the press during the band's rise to fame, and that he personally took a hand in covering up Gately's sexuality. "I knew they needed stories and I helped them with the stories… sometimes I made up the stories," he said. "I married Stephen Gately off to so many people, because Stephen didn’t want anyone to know he was gay at the start." Boyzone One of those rumoured female celebrities was Mariah Carey herself, leading Walsh to joke: "Well, he loved Mariah Carey! Mariah and Celine Dion were Stephen’s idols." The 63-year-old attempted to justify keeping Gately in the closet, saying: “At that time it wasn’t cool to be gay and be in a boyband, because the girls had to like him.” However, he added that Gately publicly owning his sexuality after The Sun story made him "the most popular person in Boyzone by a mile." Words: Darren Mew More stories: Male migrants and asylum seekers in Greece are turning to sex work in order to survive How often do most gay men watch porn – and for how long?