Westlife’s Mark Feehily shares he was forced to come out by the media

Westlife singer Mark Feehily has shared that he was often called “too fat” during his early days in the music industry and his decision to come out was forced by a news outlet threatening to report that he was gay.

Feehily was a guest on the Irish television program Late Late Show Friday when he opened up about his experiences.

The singer said in the Westlife’s early days people in the music industry often referred to him as the “fat one” alongside bandmates  Shane Filan, Kian Egan, Nikki Byrne and in their early days Brian McFadden.

Feehily said it was not usual to have people comment on his body, often just before he would appear on television. While the singer says the music industry has improved, people on social media still make harsh comments.

“Look it is the music industry, and things are a bit different now, but back then people would have no problem telling you, ‘you’re fat, lose weight’, like just before you went on TV.

“Now, instead of it being somebody from the record industry it’s Instagram or it’s Twitter.” the singer said.

Feehily also recalled the moment he was forced to tell the world he was gay, because a tabloid had threatened to ‘out’ him.

“One day I got a phone call from somebody who works around us and they said The Sun know you are going out with someone, a man, and basically they are going to print the story.

“They want to know if you want to go and talk to them and explain your situation or not, but it is going in the paper either way.

“It was unexpected, I don’t look back in anger, but I don’t think anyone should be forced to come out in that way.

“Thankfully in the media industry, they wouldn’t even think about doing something like that now. It is something that used to happen twenty years ago, but it doesn’t happen now.”

Westlife formed in 1998 and quickly found success with their debut album. Brian McFadden quit the band in 2004, and the group disbanded in 2012. The four long-standing members reunited in 2018.

The band released their twelfth album Wildest Dreams in late 2021.  

OIP Staff

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