Sir Elton John’s mother wanted to stop his civil partnership from going ahead because she was jealous of his relationship with David Furnish.
The 72-year-old singer and filmmaker David Furnish were the first same-sex couple in the UK to have their union made official in December 2005 but the “Rocket Man” hitmaker was worried throughout the big day because his mother Sheila – who he claimed often had irrational outbursts of rage – was as disruptive as possible and he only found out why later.
Writing in his memoir “Me”, which is being serialised by the Daily Mail newspaper, he recalled: “I didn’t find out what had provoked all this until much later. It turned out that David’s parents, who are Canadian, had known what the problem was all along, but hadn’t wanted to upset us.
“They’d rung Mum as soon as they arrived in the UK. They always got on well with her and Derf. They’d even been on holidays together.
“My mother told them they all had to work together to stop the civil partnership going ahead. She didn’t approve of two men ‘getting married’, as she put it.
“Everyone she’d spoken to was horrified by the very idea. It was going to hurt my career.
“David’s mum told her she was nuts, that their kids were doing something amazing and she should support them.
“My mother put the phone down on her.
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“She repeated the same line to me a couple of years later, in the middle of a blazing row. It didn’t make sense. Mum had always been incredibly hard work, but she had never been homophobic…
“As ever, I think the real problem was that she hated anyone being closer to me than she was…
“She couldn’t cope with the thought of the umbilical cord finally being cut and she didn’t care about anything else, including the fact that I was finally happy.”
Elton – whose mum died in 2017 – and David are now happily parents to sons Zachary, eight, and six-year-old Elijah but the ‘I’m Still Standing’ singer admitted he was very reluctant to start a family because of his own “miserable” childhood.
He said: “Every time David had mentioned the idea of starting a family, I had presented him with a list of objections so long it just wore him into submission.
“I didn’t want kids. I was too old. Too set in my ways. Too absent — always off on tour. Too keen on porcelain and photographs and modern art, none of which responds well to being knocked over or drawn on with crayon or smeared with Marmite.
“But, really, my own childhood was at the root of every objection.
“Bringing up children was an incredible challenge, and I knew from personal experience how awful it was if you f***ed that challenge up. I couldn’t live with the thought of making my own children as miserable as I’d been.”
Elton’s attitude changed after he and David visited a Ukrainian orphanage, but their plan to adopt two children there fell through, prompting them to explore other options and use a surrogate and egg donor to conceive their sons.
And the ‘Candle in the Wind’ hitmaker is still stunned by how quickly he took to fatherhood.
He wrote: “If you’d tried telling the Elton John of the Seventies or Eighties that he could find more fulfilment on a deep and profound level in changing a nappy than in writing a song or playing a gig, you’d probably have had to exit the room at high speed immediately afterwards, with crockery flying past your ears.
“But I loved everything about being a dad. I even found the toddler tantrums weirdly charming. ‘You think you’re being difficult, my little sausage? Have I ever told you about the time I drank eight vodka martinis, took all my clothes off in front of a film crew and then broke my manager’s nose?’ “