Jim Hutton was a relatively unknown hairdresser in County Carlow before he met late Queen frontman, Freddie Mercury – they met in London where Jim had moved to. They subsequently fell in love and lived the rest of their lives together. Although diagnosed with AIDS, Jim didn’t die of the deadly disease as often misconstrued.
Both Jim and his partner lived a private life and it wasn’t until after the singer passed on and Hutton’s telling memoirs were released in 1994 that details of their life together got out. Here, we explore the rare love Jim Hutton and Freddie Mercury shared and details of how they both died.
Jim Hutton’s Background
Born on the 4th of January 1949, in Carlow, Ireland, Jim Hutton was one of those people who only became known through their partners, thus, his life before Freddie came along is not much of a public affair. The Irish national was probably raised in Carlow, Ireland, his place of birth where he also worked as a hairdresser before he moved to London and met the love of his life.
The memoirs he penned are Mercury and Me and FREDDIE MERCURY which gave insight into the life of the singer after his death.
Relationship With The Frontman
Even though there were several speculations about how they met, Hutton later revealed during an interview that they first met at a London gay club known as Heaven. This was in 1985 when gay relationships were heavily frowned at.
Meanwhile, at the time they met, Hutton was in a relationship and this made him turn the Queen frontman down when he offered to buy him a drink. After 18 months of their first meeting, their paths crossed again in a club. This time around, there was no denying the fact that they had chemistry and the sparks could not be ignored. The next time they saw each other, their relationship began and things moved so fast that within a few months, Hutton joined Mercury in his London home known as Garden Lodge.
What started small at a club later evolved into a relationship that would last until Mercury died in 1991. Even though he enjoyed fame and fortune in his lifetime, Mercury never really made his sexual orientation public knowledge, his reason being that it was nobody’s business. Even his family members were kept out of the loop. This did not bother Hutton who understood that coming out could affect his partner’s professional life.
The love Jim Hutton shared with Freddie blossomed until the end of their lives, against all odds. Though gay marriage was very much illegal in the U.K. at the time, the lovers wore wedding rings to show their commitment and Mercury was reportedly still wearing his on his death bed.
Jim Hutton’s Final Years
In 1987, Freddie Mercury was diagnosed with HIV and because of this, he told Hutton that it’s okay if he wanted to leave the relationship. Instead of taking the easy way out, Hutton pledged his undying love for the singer and stayed by his side until his death in 1991, at the age of 45. He died as a result of bronchial pneumonia which was confirmed to be a complication of AIDS
Sadly, a few years after Mercury’s diagnosis, Hutton was diagnosed with the same disease in 1990. He lived with the disease for about two decades before his death on January 1, 2010, back home in Carlow where he had moved back to after Mercury’s death. Hutton died at the age of 60, just three days before his 61st birthday and as many speculated, he didn’t die from complications from AIDS but bowed to a battle with lung cancer.
Upon his death, it was revealed that Mercury willed his Garden Lodge to his closest friend Mary Austin Hutton while Hutton got £500,000 from the singer’s fortune. Leaving his mansion for Austin had nothing to do with his waning love for Hutton, rather, he cherished his relationship with Mary and used to describe her as his only true friend. Mary gave Hutton three months to vacate the property which he did and moved back to Carlow, Ireland, where he spent the rest of his life.