'George Michael's secret childhood trauma influenced his work'
Former Wham! manager Simon Napier-Bell believes George Michael had a secret "childhood trauma", which triggered some of his best work.
Simon believes the late music legend's creativity was triggered by an issue during the 'Careless Whisper' hitmaker's younger years which he "didn't tell the public", and he may have even repressed in his own mind.
While the record producer admitted George - who died of heart and liver disease on Christmas Day 2016 aged 53 - was devastated by his mum Lesley's death in 1997 and his partner Anselmo Feleppa's passing four years earlier, he claims the singer's "real upset" occurred years earlier.
Simon, 78, said: "He was very open about the fact that he was upset by his mother dying and Anselmo dying.
"That wasn't the problem, that didn't cause George Michael's creativity.
"It was childhood trauma that happens well before you're 12 or 13.
"He obviously looked very much inside himself but he never told anybody whatever it was that triggered it. He didn't tell the public and he may not have even told himself, because that's another thing that happens to people, they feel a huge disquiet and they want to not look at it."
Simon believes George - who was arrested for possession of Class A drugs, including crack cocaine, in 2008, but didn't face any charges - was "semi-suicidal" during his drug-taking days.
He said: "I knew there were a lot of drugs about and if somebody is doing drugs at a level which could kill them, I suppose it is semi-suicidal. You're flirting with it.
"It's like somebody who drives at 130mph when they're drunk. They're not trying to commit suicide but if they thought logically for a minute they would have to say they don't really care much for life if they are doing that."
George was airlifted to hospital after he fell out of a moving Range Rover on the M1 motorway in 2013, and Simon has insisted the 'One More Try' star must have been doing "something damn silly" to have such a scrape with death.
Speaking to the Daily Mirror newspaper, Simon - who has been looking into the premature deaths of music stars such as Amy Winehouse and Kurt Cobain in documentary '27: Gone Too Soon' - added: "You don't fall out a Ranger Rover going 80mph by accident.
"It might be an accident but you must have been doing something damn silly to make the accident happen. You knew there was an instability there that one day would go just an inch further in the wrong direction and something would happen. Which is probably what did happen.
"I don't for one second think it's suicide in the conventional idea of what suicide is."