British Star Duncan James Says he Dated Women to Hide His Sexuality

Saturday July 16, 2022
Originally published on July 5, 2022

Duncan James and Rodrigo Reis
Duncan James and Rodrigo Reis   (Source:Instagram)

British singer Duncan James opened up about his difficult coming out experience in an interview with the British tabloid The Mirror. Joining him was his boyfriend, Rodrigo Reis, where they spoke about their relationship and how they first met.

The 42-year-old came out in 2017 after years of "living a lie," but added it wasn't easy to do. James came to fame as the lead singer of the boy band Blue in 2000. The band broke up in 2005, but returned in 2011 when they represented England in the Eurovision Song Contest.

"There was a lot of pressure from the record company, I didn't want to let the boys down so I kept my mouth shut."

Last February on the Rylan Clark podcast "Ry-Union," Clark said "I think being in such a public boy band, with the majority of fans being female, it was really hard for me to actually have the courage to come out," he said, "because I was scared on so many different levels on so many different things."

He continued: "And, to be honest, I didn't quite understand too much about my own sexuality at that time, I was just really confused."

He also dated female celebrities to keep his sexuality a secret, The Independent reported. "James said he used to 'feel relieved' when rumours circulated about him dating his female friends, including Geri Halliwell, Martine McCutcheon and Tara Palmer-Tompkinson."

But he also admitted he felt like a "hypocrite" when performing at Pride events with Blue.

All this changed when he was touring with his bandmates in Belgium. "I was doing a gig with the boys and I met Rodrigo at the after party. I was like, 'he's hot,'" he said.

It wasn't until he met Rodrigo that he felt comfortable enough about his sexuality to come out.

"He was the first partner I had who wasn't ashamed to hold my hand... Other boyfriends didn't want to show any public displays of affection in case they were pictured," The Independent quoted him as saying.

The Mirror asked Rodrigo if he knew of James when they met. "No I didn't. In Brazil, where I am from, they're not so famous."

The two maintain a long-distance relationship with Rodrigo in Belgium and James in England, but the pandemic has led to some difficulties in seeing each other. "It's been hard. We had four months apart and then we managed to see each other when we had that break," James told The Mirror.

The couple did manage to bring their moms together before the pandemic, James recalled. "Before we went into this crazy lockdown world, Rodrigo's mum came over from Brazil and we all went to Gent in Belgium with my mum."

Fortunately for James, his mother approved of Rodrigo. "It's very important to get that approval from my mum. Historically my mum hasn't really liked my partners, but she likes Rodrigo."

Check out these pics from James' IG: