Lee Ryan has opened up about the horrific trauma he suffered during his childhood when he witnessed his friend’s dad try to shoot her dead before turning the gun on himself.
The Blue star, 37, was left so traumatised by what he witnessed that he went off the rails, believing he would die young and become part of the ’27 Club’, a group of stars including Kurt Cobain and Amy Winehouse who died at that age.
The life-changing event happened before Lee found fame as part of the boy band and he said he acted like a “nutjob” because he was so convinced his life would end abruptly that he “didn’t care”.
Recalling the horrifying event, Lee said: “I remember watching a film and I heard, ‘Bang, bang’, I was like, ‘What the f**k is that?’
“I actually looked outside and I saw my friend lying on the floor holding her shoulder and her dad walked out with a sawn-off shotgun.
“He walked out into the middle of the road, stuck it to her head and went to shoot it but he’d already done two shots, so he went back inside, re-loaded, and she got up and ran off.
“Then he turned around and he put the gun to his head and blew his brains out. I saw his head explode.”
Speaking about how the incident affected him, Lee added to podcast Family Business: “It affected me, really badly. There was a woman who got murdered in my block of flats, she got cut up with her kid. It was rough round those ways.
“I think growing up I had a lot of things to deal with that I’d seen and then I got famous. It’s not a good mix.”
After joining Blue at the age of 17, Lee struggled with fame and has been open about the alcohol and drug problems he fell into.
Lee said he took the “live fast, die young” approach to life and started doing “crazy things”.
He said: “I was like, I’ve got loads of money in the bank, I’m in the biggest boy band in the country and I honestly thought I might die young.
“I honestly thought I might join the 27 club and I didn’t give a f**k, I thought it would be a good way to go out.
“That’s why I just acted like a nutjob. I did crazy things, I was trying to be the most crazy rock ‘n’ roller I could ever be … I just didn’t care.
“I just thought, ‘You know what? This isn’t going to last forever’. The first car I bought was a 911 Porsche, I had that James Dean idea of living fast and dying young and being rock ‘n’ roll.
“It must have been tough for the Blue boys, they were more sensible than me.”
Lee and his bandmates Duncan James, Simon Webbe and Antony Costa will celebrate the 20th anniversary of their debut album All Rise in November and are hoping to do something to mark the occasion.
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