Robbie Williams reveals his song Cursed is about having sex with late friend Paula Yates – but admits he ‘didn’t actually’ sleep with the star
- READ MORE: Paula Yates to be subject of new Channel 4 documentary containing unheard interviews
Robbie Williams has revealed his song Cursed is about having sex with his late friend Paula Yates as he spoke in the upcoming Channel 4 documentary about her life.
The singer, 49, admitted that while he ‘didn’t actually’ bed the television presenter, he did have a ‘massive crush’ on her, in the candid new interview.
The life of journalist Paula, who died from an accidental heroin overdose in 2000 aged 41, is the subject of the new two-part documentary.
Featuring previously unheard interviews with her, recorded in 1998 and 1999, the TV programme also contains testimonies from her close friends, including Robbie.
Speaking in the film, the former Take That star admits his lyric: ‘Told everybody I’d slept with you. Thought you’d like it and wouldn’t deny it’ is a reference to Paula.
Lyrics: Robbie Williams, 49, revealed his song Cursed is about having sex with his late friend Paula Yates as he spoke in the upcoming Channel 4 documentary, Paula (pictured in 2022)
Infatuated: The singer admitted that whilst he ‘didn’t actually’ bed the television presenter, he did have a ‘massive crush’ on her (Paula pictured in 1983)
Robbie recalled his first time meeting Paula when she interviewed his band, and confessed: ‘I was thinking, “Don’t fancy Jason [Orange]!”
Robbie’s ‘Cursed’ lyrics…
‘Held my hand when I got my first tattoo
I was naked when they penetrated
Told everyone I’d slept with you
Thought you liked it and you wouldn’t deny it
Saint Peter’s gonna be unfaithful. Tell God he’s got a dirty angel’
In an interview with The Times, the documentary’s director, Charlie Russell, added: ‘She was hugely influential on him. He had a massive crush on her but it quickly evolved into a real friendship.
‘He saw similarities in them. He felt like he was lucky, that the only difference was how it ended.’
Robbie previously described Cursed in the insert from the album, Escapology, as: ‘A homage to a friend of mine that passed away. “St Peter’s going to be unfaithful/tell God he’s got a dirty angel” – it’s very sexy.
‘I’ve tried to do it as rock’n’roll as I could do to fit them, and still be loving. I mourn their loss.’
Paula had a habit of rendering pop stars speechless with her devastating sex appeal and was the quintessential television icon of the 1980s.
On the music show The Tube, her co-presenter Jools Holland was reduced to playing the appalled straight man while she, amused, created anarchy. She even persuaded Sting to take his trousers off on air in 1985.
Later, on The Big Breakfast, she conducted interviews with stars on a bed in the studio.
Series: The documentary will feature previously unbroadcast interviews with Paula (pictured in 1991) about her life and testimonies from her friends
One of them, the INXS singer Michael Hutchence, she fell for headlong, their affair ending her marriage to Live Aid hero Bob Geldof – and Hutchence’s romance with supermodel Helena Christensen.
There followed drugs, scandals and lawsuits, and after Hutchence was found dead in a hotel room Paula, engulfed with grief, killed herself with an ‘incautious’ heroin overdose. Their four year old daughter was alone with her. Paula was only 41.
Her story is about to be told again by Channel 4 in a landmark two part documentary, titled Paula.
It will feature previously unbroadcast interviews with Paula about her life, given in 1998 and 1999 – just before her death in 2000.
Executive Shaminder Nahal, called Paula: ‘A whirlwind of wit, verve and charisma,’ adding: ‘Looking at what she achieved now, it feels like no-one has ever quite matched her as a TV presenter.’
Born in 1959 in Colwyn Bay, Conwy, she was raised by a father she feared, and a mother who she was afraid of losing. Her mother was Elaine Smith, a statuesque showgirl who went by the stage name Heller Toren and had a 44 inch bust, and genius level IQ of 160.
Robbie recalls his first time meeting Paula when she interviewed his band, and confessed: ‘I was thinking, “Don’t fancy Jason [Orange]!” (Take That pictured in 1993 L-R Jason Orange, Howard Donald, Mark Owen, Robbie and Gary Barlow)
Her father was Jess ‘The Bishop’ Yates, an avuncular showbiz veteran who presented ITV’s religious show Stars On Sunday.
The marriage was not a success but Jess refused to give his wife a divorce. They separated with Jess moving to Leeds where Stars on Sunday was filmed, and Heller moving to London, where she wrote steamy novels and took lovers including the singer Tom Jones.
In 1974, Jess lost his job after a scandal featuring a 16-year-old lover.
In her autobiography, Yates painted a disturbing picture of her childhood. She said her mother left her repeatedly. ‘I used to go to bed not knowing if she’d still be there in the morning… I would lie outside the toilet if she went to the loo.’
When Heller was gone she was left in the care of her manic depressive father, who would shut her in an orange box and practice the organ for hours.
She said her disturbed upbringing left her unable to speak properly at four, not potty-trained until five, anorexic at eight, sexually intimate with an Argentine boy and dabbling in heroin aged 12.
Life: By the time she was 14 she was a regular on the London club scene and in 1976, aged 18, she set her sights on Boomtown Rats frontman Bob Geldof, eight years her senior. Paula and Bob pictured in 1985
Her mother, from whom she was estranged, denounced the account as a pack of lies. For one thing, she said Jess Yates didn’t have an organ in their house, nor was young Paula ever locked in an orange box.
Instead Heller claimed that Paula had always been adored, even spoiled, by her doting parents. `Fiction is always more interesting than the truth,’ she said.
One thing on which they both agreed though was that Paula Yates was highly intelligent and precocious.
By the time she was 14 she was a regular on the London club scene and in 1976, aged 18, she set her sights on Boomtown Rats frontman Bob Geldof, eight years her senior.
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