Close friend set to lift lid on Alexander McQueen's dark side in no-holds-barred biography

By Mail On Sunday Diary


The fashion world is bracing itself for the revelations in a no-holds-barred biography of the late designer Alexander McQueen.

The book, by his close friend Nick Townsend, is predicted to cause rifts within the industry as it will lift the lid on McQueen’s controversial private life and reveal details of a ‘physically abusive’ relationship he had with  a leading figure in the  London scene.

‘The relationship was very violent,’ says Nick, 45. ‘I was always patching up Alexander’s boyfriend. There were missing teeth, ripped clothes, and blood. It was serious.’

Close friend Nick Townsend will reveal details of designer Lee Alexander McQueen's 'physically abusive' relationship

Close friend Nick Townsend will reveal details of designer Lee Alexander McQueen's 'physically abusive' relationship

Nick, who first met McQueen while he  was studying at Central Saint Martins College in the mid-1990s, says the violent outbursts were often exacerbated  by the designer’s struggle to deal with his celebrity status, which led to frequent alcohol abuse.

Nick adds: ‘Alexander was the one who would lash out. People were starting  to recognise him, which became a pressure. That merely fuelled his insecurities.’


The fashion world, which is preparing for the launch of London Fashion Week on Friday, was left reeling  by McQueen’s suicide at the age of 40 in 2010.

Sarah Burton, who now runs the McQueen label, is said to be anxious about the book bringing the brand  bad luck.

Nick says: ‘Fashion houses should have counsellors. The level of stress is insane. It was McQueen’s mother’s funeral one day, and three days later he was booked to do a major show.

The fashion world was left reeling by McQueen¿s suicide at the age of 40 in 2010 after which Sarah Burton took over the label

The fashion world was left reeling by McQueen¿s suicide at the age of 40 in 2010 after which Sarah Burton took over the label

‘His suicide was a  combination of his mother’s passing and his workload.’

Nick has drafted in a ghost-writer to assist him with the as-yet-untitled biography, which will soon be made available to publishers for ‘big money’.

A spokesman for Sarah Burton declined to comment.

Branson's guests pay the price for Necker revamp

Virgin billionaire Sir Richard Branson has upped the cost of staying at his refurbished main guesthouse on Necker Island by £5,000 a night to £40,000 following the blaze that ripped through the property in 2011.

‘Richard has hiked the prices to cover the costs of the repairs,’ says an island mole. ‘The house has been restored to its former glory but the repairs were incredibly expensive. He is a businessman after all.’

Sir Richard bought the Caribbean hideaway for £180,000 in 1978 and began renting it out as an exclusive destination for celebrities eager to holiday in complete privacy. Guests have included Harry Styles and Kate Winslet, who met her husband – Sir Richard’s nephew Ned Rocknroll – there.

The comments below have not been moderated.

Another one who is not even ashamed of cashing on a dead soul. Let him rest in peace for God's sake.

Click to rate     Rating   6

And blood and vasline and p**

Click to rate     Rating   7

oh sure, go ahead and cash in now that the man is not even here to defend himself. With supposed close friends like this, no wonder the man had deep issues.

Click to rate     Rating   16

How disgusting. How people are always ready to make money out of their "close friends" really disgusts me. The guy's dead for God's sake. And I wouldn't believe a word of what this guy says.

Click to rate     Rating   12

A close friend would not write a book about him. Funny how people are allowed to write and say things about people when they can't defend themselves.

Click to rate     Rating   19

Not really a friend then is he?

Click to rate     Rating   21

funny how this creature has crawled out of the woodwork when his 'friend' isn't here to defend himself.....shocking case of back stabbing and cashing in....hope the book gets pulped.

Click to rate     Rating   11

Five grand per head is quite a hike ~ I'm beginning to wonder if our venerate knight of the realm Sir Richard, the man with a finger in pratically every pie is becoming greedy ~ I do hope not. I've long since been an admirer of his entreprenuerial savvy and would hate to think he has lost his connection with the common man.

Click to rate     Rating   3

Did a translation for the Eve Branson Foundation in April for a polo match in Marrakech (Richard Branson & family were there) - and I am still waiting to be paid, despite many reminders.

Click to rate     Rating   13

This is no friend! If he calls himself a friend then we need to redefine what an enemy is ......

Click to rate     Rating   37
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