During a recent interview, out British actor Rupert Everett said that he was "terrified" at the start of the AIDS epidemic.
Everett, 61, is best known in the U.S. for playing a gay friend in the 1997 film My Best Friend's Wedding and Lord Arthur Goring in the 1999 movie An Ideal Husband. Everett wrote, directed, and starred in the 2018 film The Happy Prince about the Irish poet and playwright Oscar Wilde, who spent two years in an English prison for having gay sex.
Appearing on ITV's Piers Morgan's Life Stories, Everett told host Piers Morgan that he was "very lucky" to have avoided contracting HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.
"You had a boyfriend who got HIV and it developed into AIDS, and it must have been terrifying for you and for him," Morgan said.
"I was terrified of it, and of him, at a certain point, too," Everett answered.
"I certainly don't think it was me at my best. And what's difficult for people to imagine now is what a drawn out and painful and humiliating and scary death it was too."
"Some friends of mine who survived it and didn't have it were so amazing to their lovers and their friends. I wasn't. I was scared shitless by it and kind of ran in the opposite direction," he said.
Everett described himself as "gay all the way through" but he has also been romantically involved with women.
He said that he first learned about the plague as his female lover at the time was taking a bath.
"I was watching the television and this picture of this guy I used to sleep with came up," Everett explained. "And I knew. The world literally stood still. And as the sound came in, they said: 'This guy is one of the first people to get the new gay cancer.' So, I was really horrified and in shock from then on. And we were immediately outcast."
This article appeared at On Top Magazine and has been published here with permission.