Paul Burrell has opened up about keeping his sexuality a secret for years, having come out earlier this year.
The former royal butler announced back in March that he was gay, and revealed plans to marry his new partner Graham Cooper, six months after divorcing his wife of 32 years.
In a fresh interview with Channel 5’s ‘In Therapy’, Paul says he previously considered a “black cloud” that has “always” been over him.
He explains: “It’s always followed me, that black cloud. It’s always followed me around, that… gay thing.”
Paul then compares his sexuality to a “monster”, adding: “I grew up in a coal-mining community in the North of England. And so it was, I suppose, suppressed for so many years. And not allowed to come out.
“It would be a shaming thing, it would be something that would disgrace my family. And for me, it was something to hide.”
Speaking to therapist Mandy Saligari, Paul says there have been three main issues that he has been “bothered” by in his life, naming them as “the passing of the Princess [Diana]”, his sexuality and his “vilification” in the media.
He says of the media: “They’ve caused me problems. And my sexuality, of course, I’ve only just come to terms with.”
Prior to becoming a media personality, Paul worked at Buckingham Palace as a footman to Queen Elizabeth II and later served Princess Diana for more than a decade as her butler.
In 2003, Paul was accused by Diana’s sons Prince William and Prince Harry of a “cold and overt betrayal”, when he shared intimate details of her life in the book ‘A Royal Duty’.
Since the success of the controversial book, Paul has made multiple media appearances, including on ‘I’m A Celebrity’, ‘Stars In Their Eyes’ and ‘Celebrity Big Brother’.
It was recently reported that he’d be joining Katie Price and ‘Great British Bake Off’ winner Candice Brown on the new rebooted series of ‘Dancing On Ice’.
Check out his full ‘In Therapy’ interview on Monday (21 August) night, at 10pm on Channel 5.