‘Ryan was a true hero’

ELTON JOHN CREDITS his late friend for helping him overcome his drug addiction.


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Published: Wed 18 Jul 2012, 8:43 PM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 10:29 PM

The singer was a huge cocaine addict when his 18-year-old friend Ryan White died of AIDS in 1990. John, 65, admits that the teenager played a big part in inspiring him to overcome his addictions, reports femalefirst.co.uk.

In his forthcoming book, Love is the Cure: On Life, Loss and the End of AIDS, he wrote: “Ryan was a true hero - he unconditionally forgave those who made him suffer. Ryan changed the course of a deadly epidemic and helped save millions of lives.”

“But when Ryan died in April 1990 at the age of 18, I didn’t know how to speak to someone unless I had a nose full of cocaine and a stomach full of alcohol. After his funeral, I returned to London and locked myself away at home. My sense of values was buried under my self-destruction. But I’m here today because of Ryan,” he added.

The musician is regretful that he didn’t do more about the AIDS pandemic, and he believes it’s a small miracle that he never contracted HIV.

“I’m deeply ashamed that I did not do more about AIDS back then when my friends, including Ryan, were dying all around me and did not have the strength or sobriety to do anything about it. I would go to funerals, would mourn and my behaviour got worse, I was sleeping around without protection and it is a small miracle that I never contracted HIV myself,” John wrote.

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