Fans have always been divided over whether Freddie truly loved Mary or Jim. He certainly wrote the song “Love of My Life” for Mary and called her his “common-law wife” years after they actually split up in 1976. Three months after the Queen legend died in November 1991, Jim was “evicted” from his partner’s mansion, One Garden Lodge in Kensington. What exactly did Freddie leave him in the will and was he promised more, as he claimed? The Express spoke to the star’s long-term friend and PA Peter Freestone to get the truth.
Peter, Jim and Joe Fanelli, Freddie’s ex-boyfriend and chef, all lived together at Garden Lodge. During Freddie’s final months, the three cared for him around the clock along with Mary.
In his will, Freddie left Mary his home and entire fortune, minus bequests to family and other friends and staff. On top of that, he also left her half of all future earnings from his share in Queen royalties.
The other half was split between his parents and sister.
Why did Jim receive so much less? Did Freddie promise him more but not have time to amend his will?
Freddie Mercury and Jim Hutton
Freddie Mercury and Peter Freestone
Peter told Express Online: “No. I doubt that would ever have happened.
“It is something Freddie might have said in a moment but he was always very particular to write down anything he really wanted to happen, especially in his will.
“Anything verbal doesn’t mean anything.”
Freddie loved to make grand and sweeping flippant comments about everything in his life but when he was serious he always carried out his promises.
The star had only ever intended one person to receive the bulk of his estate. He explicitly said so in an interview years before and never changed his mind.
Freddie Mercury and Mary Austin
Freddie said: “If I go first, I’m going to leave everything to her. Nobody else gets a penny, except my cats.”
Peter told Express “I do think it is significant that, in the end, he gave Mary the house and half of all his future earnings from Queen. That is what he felt for her…
“Before Freddie died he expressed verbally his wish that Jim, Joe and I could stay in Garden Lodge until we were ready to face the ‘outside world’. He knew none of us would want to stay forever, and was even then thinking about others before him.”
So why did they all have to move out three months later and what did he leave them?
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Peter explained: “It was a very kind thought, but not very practical. As you all know in his will he left Garden Lodge and all its contents to Mary Austin. This did not include three adult males. So that Freddie’s written will could go through probate it was necessary that we were no longer in the house and we were all given three months to make our arrangements.
“We were not evicted onto the streets, as Freddie had made sure we all had somewhere to go.”
Not only that, he left each of them £500,000 – a sizeable amount now and even more so then.
In the end, with his money Jim was able to build his own home back in Ireland where he lived until his death on January 1, 2010.