Lee Alexander McQueen's sister Janet revealed to Times2 for the first time that her brother was sexually abused by her first husband, Terence Hulyer. Janet, who is 15 years older than Lee, says that she and her brother were both physically abused at the hands of her first husband. However, she did not know about the sexual abuse until 2006, four years before the designer's death.
Janet believes that the experience greatly influenced her brother's work and inspired him to design clothing for women people would be "afraid of." "I don't want to come across as pretentious, but if I'm going to be honest, I think yes, that's true," Janet told Times2. "He was quite young when he saw it and the younger you are the more it probably stays in your mind."
The designer is thought to have referenced Huyler's heinous acts while responding to critics of a fashion show he put on, which featured models who were covered in blood, in 1995. "I've seen a woman get nearly beaten to death by her husband. I know what misogyny is. I hate this thing about fragility and making women feel naïve," Lee said. "I want people to be afraid of the women I dress."
Janet also added that she wished her and the rest of the family could have done more to prevent Lee's suicide, but admitted to not knowing the direness of the situation. "If we had known the extent of it, we would have been bashing down doors, but we didn't," she says. "We all spoke to Lee about the drugs, but he was a man in his late thirties. I don't want to name names, I've got to be careful, but people knew his state of mind and his family didn't… They knew about the other suicide attempts. We didn't."
A play about an Alexander McQueen show is set to debut in London, and Janet speaks glowingly of the production. 'I thought, 'I don't want this to end. It will be like having a reference, a bit of Lee always there.' He captured Lee's personality and vulnerability," Janet says. "I'm sure people will go away thinking that Lee was a genius, but they'll probably see a very soft side to him as well. The whole family are really moved and grateful for this touching tribute."
You can read the entire story at Times2.