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Thursday 16th July 2020

Rugby ace Gareth Thomas 'forced' to reveal he's living with HIV

Fear of others judging him contributed to star "feeling suicidal"

He was subjected to a homophobic hate crime last year and now Welsh rugby legend Gareth Thomas has been "forced" to reveal that he is living with HIV.

Sharing a video message on his Twitter account, a clearly emotional Gareth revealed that there had been an attempt to blackmail him into revealing his diagnosis.

He said: "I want to share my secret with you. Why? Because it's mine to tell you, not the evils who've made my life hell, threatening to tell you before I do."

Gareth revealed: "I'm living with HIV."

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A post shared by Gareth Thomas (@gareththomasofficial) on

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I want to share my secret with you. Why? Because it's mine to tell you, not the evils who've made my life hell, threating to tell you before I do.

Saying that the revelation doesn't make him "weak", Gareth admitted that it does make him "extremely vulnerable".

He added: "Now, even though I've been forced to tell you this, I choose to fight to educate and fight the stigma around this subject."

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Gareth also spoke to the Mirror about his diagnosis and revealed that the blackmailers had left him in the "darkest place ever"

He said: "I’ve been threatened by people who said they would give away my secret. It’s sick and I’ve been through hell."

Gareth added: "I was being blackmailed and in my mind I thought you only get blackmailed for something really bad, which compounded the feeling of shame."

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A once in a lifetime experience 🌈.#unioncup2019

A post shared by Gareth Thomas (@gareththomasofficial) on

The former Celebrity Big Brother star also revealed that the experience made him feel as if he was 'losing control'.

He said: "It put me in the darkest place ever. I felt I was losing control of my own life."

Gareth also explained the fear of others judging him and 'treating him like a leper' had left him "feeling suicidal".

"I thought about driving off a cliff," he told the tabloid.

“To me, wanting to die was just a natural thought and felt like the easier way out, but you have to confront things."

The ex Dancing on Ice contestant did reveal some happy news, though. He said that he is now married to his partner of four years, Stephen.

Back in November 2017, fellow sportsman Mark Foster came out as gay and paid tribute to rugby star Gareth for "leading the way".

ED! has contacted a rep for Gareth for further comment.

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