The crazy world of Alexander McQueen, by his ex-husband

'Nights with Kate Moss and Naomi, non-stop cocaine and 24-hour parties.. but not one real pal, except for his mum' - George Forsyth

McQueen Forstyh

They sped down to Ibiza harbour in two top-of-the-range Bentleys with Kate Moss and ­Annabelle ­Rothschild.

And as Alexander McQueen and his husband-to-be climbed aboard the most expensive yacht there, a host of A-list celebs were waiting to greet them for their lavish new-age wedding.

But half-way into the evening, with the likes of Noel Gallagher, Patsy Kensit and Sadie Frost toasting the newlyweds with crate upon crate of champagne, Alexander’s new partner George Forsyth was standing alone by the dancefloor when Jude Law ­approached him.

“Hello mate, you don’t know anyone here do you?” the actor said.

He was right. George didn’t know anyone. And beneath the showbiz veneer of air-kisses and hugs, McQueen didn’t know many of them that deeply himself.

For he was a man surrounded by ­celebrity “friends” – but who often felt alone.

He was left inconsolable by the death of his ­beloved mother Joyce 11 days ago. On Thursday – the day before her funeral – the fashion genius, whose real first-name was Lee, killed himself in his Mayfair flat. He was just 40.

“The fashion industry is the ­loneliest place on the planet,” George, 34, says in an ­exclusive ­interview with the Sunday Mirror. “When the shows and ­parties are over, there are very few people from that world you can ­really call your friends.

“I didn’t think Lee would ever take his own life, but after losing his mum he ­obviously felt he couldn’t cope any more. It’s a tragic loss, not just to fashion, but to all the people who really knew Lee and knew, like I did, that he was a truly ­beautiful person.”

George still can’t believe McQueen is dead.

“I always thought he was strong enough to deal with anything,” he says.

And, recalling the suicide three years ago of McQueen’s closest friend and ­mentor, style icon ­Isabella Blow, he says: “Just before she passed away Lee asked me to see her in hospital because he couldn’t bear to. She was like a sister to him.

“Then, losing his mum must have been unbearable. She was a genuinely lovely women. Lee adored her.”

George married McQueen, son of an East End taxi driver, in an outlandishly ­flamboyant ceremony on the three-storey yacht in August 2000.

They split a year later, but after 18 months without speaking, formed a close friendship and always kept in touch.

George says: “Lee was a genius… the hottest ticket in town in that world. ­Everybody wanted to be his friend and he attracted a lot of hangers-on.

“Don’t get me wrong, we both loved the scene and made the most of the constant partying, flowing champagne and non-stop cocaine. There were countless times when we partied for days without even thinking about sleep.

“But away from that, away from ­Alexander McQueen, he was just a normal bloke. The night he sold half his business to Gucci for £50million (in ­December 2000) we ­celebrated with a bag of chips and a bottle of Bacardi Breezer.

“He had great friends from the scene like Naomi Campbell, Kate Moss, Sadie Frost and Davinia Taylor, but they were party friends, not people he’d confide in.”

George, an artist from North London, had met Lee in a gay bar in 1999.

He says: “I’d no idea who he was. It was only the next day my mates told me he was Alexander McQueen. I’d never heard of him, I had to ask my mum who he was.”

The pair had a ­whirlwind romance and in just five weeks George had moved into McQueen’s flat in ­Islington, London.

“Soon after, he asked if I fancied going to a party says George.

“He didn’t tell me anything about it and we were wearing trainers and ripped jeans. We arrived on the Strand. I saw paparazzi and flashes going off ­everywhere.

“It was only when I got to the entrance I realised we were at a Vogue party. Everyone was beautiful and decked out in designer clothes and there was ­expensive ­champagne on tap.

“Lee started introducing me to his friends from the industry. I met Naomi Campbell, who was really friendly and genuine.

“Kate Moss came up and said hello and then Sadie Frost was brought over, but to be honest I found her really rude. When we were introduced she barely looked at me and just walked off.”

George soon became a ­member of the fashion party scene and was out every night with Lee.

He says: “At some bashes waiters would bring round silver salvers with lines of cocaine on for the guests to sniff. That whole scene was awash with coke.”

McQueen loved spending money. When staying in the luxurious Four Seasons hotel in Paris he bought a £30,000 ­chandelier that was in the foyer – just so the pair could hang the crystals on their Christmas tree back at home.

And after watching a programme about Kenya on TV he and George flew there next day – hiring the first-class cabin of a jumbo just for themselves.

He got bored after just a couple of days… so chartered a private jet to Naomi Campbell’s villa in Cape Town, South Africa. George says: “It was ­spectacular. We had our own little house in the grounds with a private pool.

“It was New Year’s Eve and loads of people were there from the fashion world. We partied non-stop for three days and did ­mountains of coke.”

He adds: “To Lee, money wasn’t ­important, it was there to be spent and enjoyed. On one trip to New York we went out to do a bit of shopping and came back with two Andy Warhol ­pictures worth about £125,000 each.

“Lee was well aware of how ­ridiculous all this excess was, but we just laughed at it together.”

The event that probably summed up their flamboyant lifestyle better than any other was their ­marriage on the sunshine isle of Ibiza.

George says: “We were in the Groucho Club with Annabelle and Kate when one of them asked if I would ever marry Lee. ­Immediately I said, ‘Yeah I would’. Lee looked at me and said, ‘Would you?’. Again I said ‘Yes’. Annabelle got really excited and said she’d be Lee’s bridesmaid and Kate would be mine – and they’d arrange ­everything.”

A couple of weeks later they all flew to Ibiza.

“Lee and myself were in the pool when Kate and Annabelle rushed over telling us to get dressed. Two huge ­convertible Bentleys were waiting.

“I got in one with Kate and Lee got in the other with Annabelle and we sped down to the harbour. All the British tourists were staring, shouting, ‘Oh my God, it’s Kate Moss’.”

After the ceremony the couple and their celebrity guests partied the night away. But as Jude Law saw, all was not as it seemed. “There were no family members there at all, just Lee’s ­celebrity friends,” says George.

“Jude chatted to me to make me feel comfortable. That meant a lot and I’ve always remembered that moment.”

George remains grateful to Annabelle for arranging the wedding and believes she was one of McQueen’s true friends.

But he also experienced the fickle nature of the fashion scene first-hand after he separated from McQueen.

“Soon after, I saw Kate going into a hotel and, bearing in mind she’d been my bridesmaid, I shouted out to her. She turned round, looked at me then ­completely ignored me. It was like now I wasn’t in that circle I wasn’t good enough. Funnily enough, when I became friends with Lee again, she was all over me. That’s showbusiness.”

He goes on: “The fashion world is full of hangers-on. You can see right through them. Lee was sharp as a pin. He’d spot it. He explained it all to me, that he had this public ­persona, the bad boy of fashion.

“There was Lee at home and ­Alexander McQueen the outrageous ­nutter in public. He played up to it. He laughs about it.” Pausing to ­correct himself, he adds forlornly: “Laughed about it.”

Tired and drawn, his eyes red from crying, George adds: “Everyone’s talking about the death of fashion genius Alexander McQueen. But I want people to realise we’ve also lost Lee McQueen, the person, who was just as special.”

will.payne@sundaymirror.co.uk

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