jim hutton: the story of freddie mercury’s longtime partner

Jim Hutton’s and Freddie Mercury’s romance started on rocky ground. It had elements of a rom-com until Freddie was diagnosed with HIV.

In 2018, the world re-met Freddie, Queen, and Freddie’s last partner, an Irish hairdresser, Jim Hutton, in Bohemian Rhapsody.

However, the movie did not properly introduce the romance, and we are here to dig deep into what it was like being Freddie’s partner.

When Jim Hutton Met Freddie Mercury

jim hutton: the story of freddie mercury’s longtime partner
jim hutton: the story of freddie mercury’s longtime partner

Hutton first met Freddie in 1985 in a London club. It was not love at first sight.

At the time, Jim was dating someone, and he didn’t even recognize the famed musician. But just 18 months later, they were both back in the same club, Heaven, and started dating.

Less than a year after their second meeting, the lovers started living together in London. But, Freddie had another lover, and this is where things got complicated.

The flamboyant rock star dated a German guy, Winnie. Unlike Jim, Winnie, just like Freddie, had a flair for drama.

Many details became public when Jim Hutton published his book Mercury & Me. It was three years after Freddie’s death, and he said, at the time, that it was therapeutic for him.

Epic fights with Winnie and domestic life with Jim

According to Hutton’s autobiography, Freddie and Winnie had a major blowout at Freddie’s birthday party.

The same party for his 39th birthday ended up being in Freddie’s video for Living On My Own.

Jim wrote:

“I had the distinct impression that Freddie had another boyfriend in the city somewhere… I realized why Freddie probably wanted me there so desperately.”

“I was just part of a game between lovers. He wanted to flaunt me so that his boyfriend would see or hear of me and be jealous…. Whenever Winnie appeared, Freddie made a big fuss of me while the German shot me piercing glances.”

“Back home with Freddie that night, I was tempted to tell him I wasn’t prepared to be a pawn in his game. But, as we got into bed, I decided to say nothing.”

And while Jim was not ready for that conversation, he did fly out to Munich. It was September 5, 1985, and Freddie prepared a lavish cross-dressing black and white ball.

jim hutton: the story of freddie mercury’s longtime partner
jim hutton: the story of freddie mercury’s longtime partner

Winnie was Freddie’s first “husband,” and he gave him a 20,000 euro ring at the party. Brian May once stated that Winnie was “busy breaking Freddie’s heart.”

The German refused to move to London, and Winnie reportedly threw the ring on the ground.

Freddie went to Jim and Jim was part of the video. The two lived together until the rockstar’s death.

Hutton and Mercury wore wedding rings during their relationship

jim hutton: the story of freddie mercury’s longtime partner
jim hutton: the story of freddie mercury’s longtime partner

After Munich, and Winnie, Freddie, and Jim became more exclusive. At some point, they were wearing wedding bands.

Their happiness was short-lived. In 1987 Freddie was diagnosed with AIDS. He told Jim he would understand if he packed up his things and left.

But, Jim simply replied:

“I’m not going anywhere. I’m here for the long haul.”

jim hutton: the story of freddie mercury’s longtime partner
jim hutton: the story of freddie mercury’s longtime partner

It was the truth. Until his death on November 24, 1991, Jim and two of the couple’s friends took care of Freddie Mercury.

The relationship lasted for almost seven years. Jim never fully accepted the rock’n’roll lifestyle. However, when they were alone, the two would watch movies, talk about their days, and pet their cats.

Jim and Freddie spent their days in a mansion in Kensington. While Jim did not officially work for Mercury, as the movie implied, he worked in their garden.

Like his partner, Hutton also found out he had AIDS in 1990. He only told Freddie before the superstar’s passing.

Jim Hutton’s life after Freddie Mercury’s death

jim hutton: the story of freddie mercury’s longtime partner
jim hutton: the story of freddie mercury’s longtime partner

After Queen’s frontman passed away, many speculated: what will happen to his fortune?

Jim Hutton was an important part of Freddie’s life. But there was someone who knew him before fame before he became a superstar. Someone who was always by his side – Freddie’s ex-girlfriend, Mary Austin.

Austin inherited half of everything Freddie owned, including the Kensington mansion. According to Hutton, she kicked him out as soon as Freddie passed away.

jim hutton: the story of freddie mercury’s longtime partner
jim hutton: the story of freddie mercury’s longtime partner

Though they were both close to Freddie, there was some bad blood between the two. Mary was the one who helped Freddie understand his sexuality. She was Mercury’s inspiration for the song Love of My Life.

The tabloids mocked Freddie’s gay friends and lovers, claiming he left them without anything. But that was not the truth. Hutton received 500,000 pounds, and he went back to Ireland.

jim hutton: the story of freddie mercury’s longtime partner
jim hutton: the story of freddie mercury’s longtime partner

He used the money to buy a home, and apart from his book, he continued working until his death in 2010. Hutton died of lung cancer, and not much else is known about his life after Freddie.

In 1994, he did an interview in the British morning show The Big Breakfast. Hutton talked a bit about his book, and obviously, he was still grieving the loss of Mercury.

Mary Austin is keeping her promise and not talking to the media

jim hutton: the story of freddie mercury’s longtime partner
jim hutton: the story of freddie mercury’s longtime partner

Austin briefly dated Brian May, but after meeting Freddie, she found her soulmate. Freddie loved her more than life:

“All my lovers asked me why they couldn’t replace Mary, but it’s simply impossible.”

“The only friend I’ve got is Mary, and I don’t want anybody else. To me, she was my common-law wife. To me, it was a marriage.”

Today, a twice-divorced mom of two is the only person who could give a more in-depth insight into Freddie’s life. But Mary Austin does not talk about Freddie’s life. In fact, she is the only person who knows where his ashes were spread.

jim hutton: the story of freddie mercury’s longtime partner
jim hutton: the story of freddie mercury’s longtime partner

In a rare interview, she revealed that though not intimate, their relationship will always be the most important for her:

“It took a long while for me to really fall in love with this man but once there, I could never turn away from him.”

“His pain became my pain, his joy became my joy.”

“I was able to look inside — almost — another human being and what I saw was a treasure trove of beauty.”

Jim Hutton, Joe Fanelli, and Peter Freestone received £500,000 after Freddie’s death. Austin’s net worth is around 120 million.

The rest of the money went to Freddie’s family.

The mystery of Freddie’s final resting place and tribute concert

jim hutton: the story of freddie mercury’s longtime partner
jim hutton: the story of freddie mercury’s longtime partner

Jim Hutton believed Freddie Mercury’s ashes were buried under a big cherry tree in the garden of Garden Lodge.

Mercury said he wanted to be strewn into his beloved Lake Geneva. But, again, the only person who knows is Mary Austin.

Only recently, the public discovered the last known photo of Freddie. Behind the lens was Hutton.

It is unclear whether Mary Austin or Jim Hutton attended the Tribute concert for Freddie Mercury and AIDS awareness held on April 20, 1992. The once-in-a-lifetime venue gathered over 70,000 people, and it was one of the last John Deacon’s performances before leaving the music industry in 1998.

In an ironic twist, the star of that night was George Micheal’s cover of Someone to Love. In the audience was his then-boyfriend, Anselmo Feleppa.

Feleppa died from AIDS-related complications less than a year later, in March 1993.

jim hutton: the story of freddie mercury’s longtime partner
jim hutton: the story of freddie mercury’s longtime partner

Also in attendance was Lady Diana. Freddie Mercury and Lady Di were great friends. He once dressed her up as a man, and they partied in The Vauxhall Tavern.

Freddie was loved, not just admired. Though the tabloids claimed he was alone as he took his final breaths, this was not the case. He had a small but tight circle of people who loved him when the stage lights went down.

And Jim Hutton was one of them.

Rest in Peace Jim Hutton (January 4, 1949 – January 1, 2010)