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John Fashanu's Daughter Reveals Grim Family Secret by eghost247(m): 11:01pm On Jan 30, 2012
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2089982/John-Fashanu-disapproved-disowned-brother-Justins-gay-lifestyle.html
John Fashanu's daughter reveals grim family secret: My father disowned his own brother for being gay
rawling through film archives for a BBC documentary she was making about gay footballers, Amal Fashanu discovered the ‘dark secret’ that overshadowed her family for more than two decades.

She learned that her uncle, Justin Fashanu – Britain’s first £1 million black player and the only professional footballer to ‘come out’ as gay – was devastated by the rejection of his own family.

Amal, 23-year-old daughter of Justin’s brother, the former Wimbledon player-turned-TV presenter John Fashanu, has always believed football failed her uncle and that homophobia contributed to the fragile mental state that led him to take his life.
But she now also believes he was pushed over the edge by rejection by the people he loved the most. In the programme, Britain’s Gay Footballers, Amal tries to discover why no other player has ‘come out’ like Justin.

She discovered the full extent of her uncle’s vilification after he revealed his sexuality in 1990 at 29. His once stellar career was dogged by sex scandals and he hanged himself eight years later, after being accused of sexually assaulting a 17-year-old boy in America.
John Fashanu's daughter reveals grim family secret: I knew Dad disapproved of Justin's gay lifestyle,  but seeing him disown his own brother hurt me so much

By Angella Johnson

Last updated at 3:41 PM on 22nd January 2012

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Trawling through film archives for a BBC documentary she was making about gay footballers, Amal Fashanu discovered the ‘dark secret’ that overshadowed her family for more than two decades.

She learned that her uncle, Justin Fashanu – Britain’s first £1 million black player and the only professional footballer to ‘come out’ as gay – was devastated by the rejection of his own family.

Amal, 23-year-old daughter of Justin’s brother, the former Wimbledon player-turned-TV presenter John Fashanu, has always believed football failed her uncle and that homophobia contributed to the fragile mental state that led him to take his life.
Breakdown: Justin Fashanu, bottom, with brother John, top - they had a very public fallout following Justin revealing he was gay
Mission: Amal Fashanu tries to discover why no footballer in England has 'come out' like her Uncle Justin did

Justin Fashanu, pictured by the ball on the left, had a fallout with brother John, top left, following his decision to admit he was gay, - and now John's daughter Amal, right, is on a mission to find out why no other player has 'come out'

But she now also believes he was pushed over the edge by rejection by the people he loved the most. In the programme, Britain’s Gay Footballers, Amal tries to discover why no other player has ‘come out’ like Justin.

She discovered the full extent of her uncle’s vilification after he revealed his sexuality in 1990 at 29. His once stellar career was dogged by sex scandals and he hanged himself eight years later, after being accused of sexually assaulting a 17-year-old boy in America.

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But it was Justin’s schism with John that appears to have left the deepest cut. John condemned him in a TV interview when Justin came out, saying he would have to ‘suffer the consequences’ for going public and adding he would ‘not want to play or even get changed’ with him.

Desperate for money, his career waning, Justin sold stories to the tabloids – later proved false – about intimate liaisons with politicians and celebrities.

At the time the details were kept from Amal. ‘It was very upsetting to see the old news reports of my father disowning his own brother,’ she says.

‘I was only ten when it happened and my parents wanted to protect me. After my parents split up, I grew up with my mother in Madrid and although I heard things, I never discussed it with my father. I knew he had not approved of Justin’s lifestyle, but the extent of his disloyalty was a shock.

‘Other members of the family have been reticent. It hurts me to think everyone abandoned him. I can’t help but think it would have taken just one supportive person to stand up for him.’

Amal graduated from Brunel University last year and is set on a modelling or TV career. When she confronted her father for her documentary, the former Gladiators host, now a businessman in Nigeria, insisted he had never been homophobic, but had been protecting the family name.

He told her: ‘At the time, I was cross with my brother. It was the way it came out – cheap and dirty, horrible scandals day after day. Going on the front pages of the newspapers, saying you’d had intimate relationships with MPs.

Justin was selfish. I did what I thought was right for our family and for myself.’

The brothers – former Barnardo’s Homes boys who were fostered in Norfolk –  had once forged a bond in childhood adversity.

Both started in professional football with Norwich City in 1978. Justin was signed for £1 million in 1981 by Nottingham Forest, where manager Brian Clough bluffly challenged Justin’s taste for ‘poof clubs’, ultimately driving him from the team.

After playing for a string of clubs, injury and homophobia eventually forced Justin into coaching work in Canada, New Zealand and  America, where, in 1998, he was accused of the sex assault.

Returning to Britain, he hanged himself two days later in a back-street garage in London’s East End. It was then revealed that the assault accusation was unfounded and no arrest warrant existed

On the morning that news of his suicide broke, an interview was published giving John’s reaction to the assault claims. John had said: ‘I just pray the accusations are not true, but we lost contact years ago and, anyway, I’m past caring. I’ve washed my hands of him.’

Justin’s suicide note protested his innocence but added that he did not want to heap further embarrassment on his family. He said he had felt abandoned by those he cared about.

‘What I’ve learned about him since doing this documentary is that he really wanted to be true to himself,’ says Amal. ‘But society would not accept a gay top-flight sportsman.

‘In the 14 years since his death, no one has been brave enough to follow in his footsteps. There are about 5,000 professional footballers in the country, yet incredibly not a single one of them has come out as gay. I’m proud Justin was my uncle and that he was brave enough to say what he did. I think my dad now regrets the harsh way he responded.

‘The game needs more people like my uncle if homophobic barriers are to be removed.’

Re: John Fashanu's Daughter Reveals Grim Family Secret by Mynd44: 12:35am On Jan 31, 2012
I don't get the moral of this tale
Re: John Fashanu's Daughter Reveals Grim Family Secret by doeeyed: 12:36am On Jan 31, 2012
Opportunistic journalism.

Why can't she focus on a topic without riding on her family's fame or notoriety and digging up old wounds.

Lazy lazy opportunistic work
Re: John Fashanu's Daughter Reveals Grim Family Secret by Mynd44: 1:06am On Jan 31, 2012
Waiting for you
Re: John Fashanu's Daughter Reveals Grim Family Secret by doeeyed: 1:13am On Jan 31, 2012
Done, but where though??
Need to sort out the insomnia
Re: John Fashanu's Daughter Reveals Grim Family Secret by Mynd44: 1:33am On Jan 31, 2012
Waiting again
Re: John Fashanu's Daughter Reveals Grim Family Secret by doeeyed: 1:40am On Jan 31, 2012
Me too
Re: John Fashanu's Daughter Reveals Grim Family Secret by Mynd44: 2:11am On Jan 31, 2012
Me three
Re: John Fashanu's Daughter Reveals Grim Family Secret by babsjnr(m): 8:02pm On Feb 02, 2012
To be honest john fashanu made a huge mistake to disown justin on british national television b'cos his gay, A female close friend to justin told amal during the interview that john used to get jealous of his brother and john daughter amal admit it straight that yes daddy is a jealous person. Justin need his family's and friend support during that time but they let him down coz his a gay. R.I.p justin
Re: John Fashanu's Daughter Reveals Grim Family Secret by SisiKill1: 8:22pm On Feb 02, 2012
Why are they trying to make him a martyr? He did more damage to the HomoSexxxual cause than those who are against it, he went a long way in confirming people's fears about gay people.
Re: John Fashanu's Daughter Reveals Grim Family Secret by SisiKill1: 8:34pm On Feb 02, 2012
The Mail on Sunday (London) July 12 1998

Justin Fashanu's Final Days!

Football star. Black hero. Gay icon. Justin Fashanu carried a lot of labels, and not just on his designer clothes. But after the impending inquest into his suicide, the label most likely to stick may be Molester.

BRIAN DEER INVESTIGATES

Justin Fashanu lit a marijuana joint and grinned an enormous, lopsided grin at a roomful of teenage kids. He felt pumped-up. He was in control. He could see it in the faces around him. No crowded football terraces roared him on, but the former soccer striker was back. Forgotten, if only briefly, was a lifetime of troubles, failures and forced retreats. Amid a smell of smoke and beer in a rented Maryland apartment, the grass hit. He felt a rush.

The time was 9.30pm on Tuesday March 24, and across Howard County, between Baltimore and Washington, silence and cold closed in. By nature, the area was all forests and fields, but freeways, shopping malls and luxury housing developments stamped footprints across the landscape. In the parking lot in front of Fashanu's cream clapboard building at 8465 Oakton Lane, Ashton Woods, ranks of Dodges, Buicks and Toyotas creaked after hour-long commuter drives. In the back were trees - dogwoods, oaks and maples - where bats wheeled and small mammals dug.

In the living room of apartment 2C, however, things were hotting up. Mike was there, with Steve, Tiffany and Carol. And DJ, and another boy. They were aged between 16 and 18, all minors, and they had beer: an illegal thrill. They sprawled on the floor and on a rented couch. They flicked cigarettes into the dogwoods from a plank deck at the back of the building. They eyed a ball game on a 40-inch television set. They praised Nirvana and rolled three-inch joints.

Most of the kids had been here before: word had spread about free-beer parties. Fashanu had rented the apartment for just two months, but had quickly put out feelers to local youth. He was a man with a natural, charismatic charm. He found it easy to win people's confidence. When he bumped into kids, he would invite them to come over. And he would tell them to bring their friends.

He had made himself comfortable in what must have seemed to him like a previous place and time. He had grown up on the edge of a village in Norfolk, England, which though flatter and less humid than Howard County, Maryland, otherwise had much in common. And his teenage years had been his days of hope, when his life seemed to promise so much. Acting out his youth again, he must have felt complete. 2C was open house.

He was powerfully built: 190lbs, 6 foot 2 inches, and reasonably fit for his age. He had once been a star, albeit only fleetingly, in Britain's national game. Back in 1981 he was bought from Norwich City FC by Nottingham Forest FC as the first black player in UK soccer history to rate a transfer fee of £1m. In 1990, he got the spotlight again for another first: for money, he declared himself in a series of tabloid newspaper features as the first out gay player in the sport.

But that night of the party, those glories were behind him. His career had collapsed in injury and controversy. More recently, he had been scratching around for work in Canada, New Zealand and even America. Howard County was as low as he had got. He needed these kids to give him a lift.

His guests were happily in the dark on all this. They knew nothing of his rise or fall. He was a witty kind of guy. His English accent was mellow. And he rented this neat place to hang. But as for his past across the pond playing soccer, they didn't get too stoked about that. They were into basketball, baseball, athletics. "Soccer sucks," they agreed.

"Yeah. Soccer sucks."

Fashanu, who had done little but kick a ball since he was four, tried to bridge this frustrating gulf. You don't have to like it, he advised them, but it was going to be big. A gold mine for players. Easy cash.

He told the kids that he was aged 28 and had come to their neighbourhood to help promote the game as part of a new team, Maryland Mania. He was an owner, he implied, and was looking for young people to help with back-office work. Delivering pamphlets. Designing publicity. All kinds of other cool stuff. The pay would be awesome: two hundred bucks a day. He told them: "We ought to talk."

Mostly he lied. He was 37 years old and had no slice in any commercial property. The Mania was for real. It plans to compete next year in the second-rank American A-League. But Fashanu was retired with an injured knee and was only being considered as coach. The team was owned by others, including a guy called Ali, who had known Justin Fashanu for years. Ali's local trading company sold Gourmet Swiss chocolates and the Purple Parrot suncare range. He had suggested there might be a position with the team's management, but nothing more. No contracts were signed.

That March evening, Fashanu got off on the group's energy, but there was one special kid (who Tiffany had brought) who particularly attracted his interest. DJ (short for D- Junior) was 17 years and three months old, fair haired, blue eyed, with a wide smile and pink cheeks. He was 5ft 9 and 145lbs, with a gym-trained, weight lifter's physique. His forearm circumference bulged to 16 inches. He bench-pressed 200lbs. His T-shirt hung loose and his trousers sagged. He was the best-looking boy in the room.

Though Fashanu's sexuality had hit the headlines in Britain, he kept it to himself, at first. But then, around 9.30, DJ asked to use the phone. He wanted to call his mother and his girlfriend. Fashanu showed him the phone in the bedroom, closed the door, then lay on the bed as the boy made the call and, during it, made a grab for his groin.

The kid was talking to his girlfriend, Laura, and hadn't been disturbed by Fashanu's presence. But when he felt the hand in an unexpected place, he leapt up and abandoned the call.

"I prefer woman," he said, without anger. "I'm not gay."

"I'm sorry," Fashanu replied quickly, flustered by the rejection. "I'm sorry. It won't happen again."

DJ believed him. He had a generous nature, and tended to take people as they seemed. His parents had only moved to Howard County 14 months previously, and before then he had lived in a town of 200 people in southern Pennsylvania. It was Amish country, conservative, neighbourly, where crime was low and trust was high. And if furtiveness clouded the middle-aged man's sexuality, the kid was better adjusted. Despite his remoteness from big-city life, he was young, watched MTV didn't fear homosexuality. He thought being gay was cool.

The kid then called his mother, Julie, and another kind of age-gap yawned. He didn't own a car and she wanted him home. She said he should come right now. Julie, 44, used to be a nurse, but in January of last year had been disabled in a traffic accident. Her husband, a 54-year-old sales executive and former policeman, was away on a business trip. But the stoned and slightly drunk 17-year-old felt compelled to snatch the last word. He was having fun. He never had fun. Why shouldn't he stay out. It wasn't late?

"DJ," his mother snapped, "have you been drinking?"

"Can't talk now."

"You must come home."

"I'm partying."

"When your father hears, he'll ground you."

"So?"

Angrily, his mother hung up the phone. DJ returned to the living room.

The party dissolved at 11pm, and the kids mostly went their own ways. But DJ was still trying to assert his autonomy, and agreed with a suggestion from his charismatic host that they should go get more cans of beer. They drove in Fashanu's rented black Mercedes to the Allview Liquor Store, half a mile west, across I-29, on the Old Annapolis Road.

The kid liked Fashanu, was drawn by his smiles and took his accent as suggestive of class. DJ was the youngest in a family with four sons and felt natural in the little brother role. He was also an athlete and hoped to learn stuff from this guy, who he thought was 28. DJ was an amateur wrestler, played American football, 10-pin bowling, and his top sport, baseball, was such a passion he dreamed of a pro career.

He wasn't the most academically-minded of persons, having dropped out of high school for a job delivering dishwashers and cookers. He was also lonely, or at least isolated, in the loose, suburban life that his family had adopted in Howard County, Maryland. He knew none of his neighbours, and without a car he found it hard to get out and make friends. Now he had a friend in this smooth-talking Englishman. He figured that maybe things were looking up.

All but one of the other kids had now left the apartment, and when Fashanu and the 17-year-old returned to Oakton Lane, the party was down to three. Then, soon after midnight, DJ felt tired, as if the evening had suddenly caught up. He felt a strange hazy feeling, not easy to explain. It was not a feeling that he was at all used to. He had only drunk three 22oz beers, and the marijuana didn't pack that kind of punch.

"I'm too drunk to go home," he told Fashanu. "Can I crash here on the couch?"

"Certainly," Fashanu agreed. The perfect host. "Of course. You crash. No problem."

DJ fell asleep. The other kid left. Time moved on to 2am.

Soon after, Fashanu seized his chance. He would not take rejection a second time.

At some dimly-lit level DJ knew what was happening. But his struggle to stop it failed.

Fashanu's power was briefly regained. The ex-star Molested the boy.


It's a Long Article, You can find the rest of it here. You'll also find comments from readers who had encounters with JF!

Yeah, If I was his brother, I would be ashamed too and not because he is Gay but because was an opportunistic a-hole who preyed on children. angry angry
Re: John Fashanu's Daughter Reveals Grim Family Secret by Outstrip(f): 3:11am On Feb 03, 2012
SisiKill are you basing it on the article above or you have something that proves that he infact Molested little boys
Re: John Fashanu's Daughter Reveals Grim Family Secret by zumbigbo(m): 1:13am On Feb 07, 2012
RIP-Justin, you were and are tremendous. You felt alone but we loved you. Rest in Peace.

You ripped up Division 1 and showed us how to walk with pride in the lion's den.

Your energy will not diminish.

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