George Michael was hounded by the press when he was alive, and they did the same to his partner Fadi Fawaz after his death.
As the investigation continued and everyone was waiting for the coroner’s report on the cause of George’s death, the media stalked Fadi as he tried to continue on with his life and do his daily activities.
- Fadi stepped outside his house and met someone in the street (January 4), and Express reported that “George Michael’s boyfriend Fadi Fawaz looks upbeat and smiley following star’s shock death.” That same interaction elicited a different take from Daily Mail using a different angle of paparazzi shots. Daily Mail reported that ”George Michael’s boyfriend Fadi Fawaz looks tense as he steps out in London”.
- He went out to Regent’s Park to take photos, and the Daily Mail (January 7) wrote “Is the strain showing for Fadi? George Michael’s lover looks tired as he visits a park to take photos after insisting he is not under suspicion for the singer’s death.”
- He went on a coffee run, and Daily Mail (Jan 14) printed “Fadi Fawaz looks downbeat as he grabs a coffee near lover George Michael’s north London home as it emerges he called his nephew after discovering the singer’s body”
- He stepped out of his house to get lunch and photos of him throwing his coffee cup in the trash bin ended up in Daily Mail.
By simply living his daily life, Fadi was accused of courting the press and keeping himself relevant in the public eye. Though no fault of him, this intrusion into Fadi’s daily life and constant media exposure led to a backlash from the public. He’s not even allowed to smile, as people commented in the Express article below that there is “no sign of heartbreak in his face” and that he “looks happy and upbeat because his boyfriend left him millions.”
Fadi was accused of “going to the press every five minutes with horrible stories,” as one commenter in a Daily Mail article when all he did was post on Twitter. Fadi never sat down in any formal interview, yet every tweet and Instagram post he made ended up in the papers.
The daily stalking of his activities was nothing compared to the vicious tabloid articles calling him a “leech.” The Sun’s January 2 article accused “Fadi was a leech on George.” According to the tabloid’s source:
One friend of the Careless Whisper star said: “Fadi was a leech from the beginning. George realised this but I think he deliberately ignored it. He was grateful of the company. George relied on Fadi for many things.
But they had been estranged for 18 months.
If “leech” is defined as “habitually exploit or rely on,” there are a number of questions these accusations raise. Calling Fadi a “leech” yet in the next sentence mention that “George relied on Fadi for many things” is in and by itself a contradiction. Plus, why would George “rely on Fadi for many things” if they have been “estranged for 18 months?”
Fadi hit back on the reports that they were estranged, calling them “Lies” in a January 9 tweet:
If they were estranged for 18 months, then that means that they have not been together since June/July 2015. This runs counter to the statement of a representative for George, who spoke to Daily Star in November 2016
“George has been with the same partner for many years and they are happy together.”
Moreover, there were a number of photographs showing Fadi and George in Zurich, Switzerland within the 18-months’ time period that they were supposedly estranged.
In July 2015, they were seen walking with their hands tightly clasping each other in Zurich.
Photographs of Fadi and George also surfaced again in September 2015 where the Daily Mail reported that “George Michael looks happy and healthy as he makes rare appearance with his partner Fadi Fawaz in Switzerland”. As Daily Mail captioned one of the photos, “Happy: After months of keeping a low profile, fans will be glad to see George with a smile on his face once again.”
“Estranged” means that the couple is apart. If they were estranged from each other, they will not be seen together, much less be seen holding hands while looking happy together. The Switzerland photos do not support the claim that they were estranged from each other for 18 months.
The tabloids continued their focus on establishing the narrative that Fadi was a fame-seeking “leech.”
On January 7, 2017, Daily Mail reported that Fadi “grew up in a poor but loving family before leaving in his early 20s to ‘seek fame.’ The article told of rags to riches story, suggesting that the riches part came as a result of his relationship with George Michael:
The article was not an inspirational poor-immigrant-boy-did-good type of story. Instead, it reeked of suggestions of fame whoring and leeching. It depicted Fadi as latching on George Michael for his riches and “THREE multi-million pound mansions.” As one commenter who bought the tabloid’s narrative put it,
“He is desperately try (sic) to hang on to the gravy train, and he is actually behaving like a leech, while George Michael’s family have kept a dignified silence. Sick of seeing him.”
From all the press about him, none focused on how Fadi has achieved success through his own efforts. After all, writing about how Fadi escaped the “ramshackle Australian suburb” to achieving success in his careers did not support the narrative that he was a “leech.”
Fadi established an impressive career on his own prior to his relationship with George. As an acclaimed hair stylist, he worked in London at the very upscale Daniel Mikhael salon in Porchester Place and developed a celebrity clientele including Pussycat Dolls, Emily Blunt, Girls Aloud, among others. He has also done hair styling for fashion and print jobs and worked on Naomi Campbell fashion shows. He worked as a personal stylist to British singer Katherine Jenkins and was even featured in one of her videos.
Fadi has shifted careers and now works as a fine art photographer. His works can be seen on his site fadifawaz.com. Here are some of his artworks: