Freddie Mercury met Jim Hutton at a club in 1984 when he offered to buy Jim a drink, and he politely turned him down. Jim didn’t recognize Freddie but a few months later while at a restaurant his friend told him: “Hey, Freddie Mercury is behind you.” Jim this time accepted Mercury’s drink and the two talked for a while, but nothing happened for another year.
About eighteen months later, the two happened to meet again at the same club. Freddie once again bought Jim a drink and this time they got together. Jim ended up moving in the Garden Lodge with Freddie about two years later.
When Freddie was diagnosed with AIDS in 1987, he offered Jim an exit on their relationship, He told Jim he would understand if he left. In a Freddie Mercury documentary, Jim recalls telling him, “I love you, Freddie – I’m not going anywhere.” And he didn’t; Jim stayed with Freddie until he died. He nursed him, cared for him, and was there when he took his last breath.
Mercury was a famously private person, but Hutton shared photographs from his personal collection; they appear in his memoir titled Mercury and Me. The pictures are a candid and intimate chronicle of their loving relationship during this time. They also showcase the normalcy of the couple as they celebrated holidays, took vacations, and cuddle with their cat.
Like Mercury, Hutton was also diagnosed with HIV. He died in 2010 from a smoking-related illness.