Will Young recalls agony over twin brother Rupert’s suicide after being unable to ‘save him’

Will Young recalls agony over twin brother Rupert's suicide after being unable to 'save him' 2
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Will Young has revealed he hit his twin brother Rupert when he last saw him as he shared his agony at being forced to throw him out of his home a week before his sibling’s tragic suicide.

Rupert fell from Westminster Bridge in July 2020 aged 41 following a long battle with depression and an addiction to alcohol and painkillers. 

And in his new Channel 4 documentary – which airs on Monday – Will, 43, reflected on the tumultuous time in which Rupert turned into a ‘monster’ after drinking ’24 hours a day’, with the star admitting he ‘couldn’t save’ his sibling.

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Heartbreaking: Will Young has shared his agony at being forced to throw his twin brother Rupert out of his home, just a week before his sibling's tragic suicide

Heartbreaking: Will Young has shared his agony at being forced to throw his twin brother Rupert out of his home, just a week before his sibling’s tragic suicide

Speaking candidly in Will Young: Losing My Twin Rupert, the Pop Idol winner heartbreakingly told how after Rupert had taken his own life, he ‘had a big moment where I realised I couldn’t save him.’ 

The singer added that he hit Rupert when he last saw him, adding: ‘I don’t have a problem with that because he deserved that.’

Will, who in the years before Rupert’s death was his carer, said: ‘My day would start. Either he was sick or he would have peed on the sofa, so I’d have to clear that up, then go get more beers and codeine because he was addicted to painkillers.’

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A week before Rupert’s death, Will had reported him as a trespasser and had him removed from his home. 

He continued: ‘At the end, he would be drinking 24 hours a day. You’ve got this monster who’s not moving. So the only thing was to throw him out but also to be aware he might end up killing himself. I was OK with everything I’d done to try to help him.’

Tragic: In his new Channel 4 documentary - which airs on Monday - Will, 43, reflected on the tumultuous time in which Rupert turned into a 'monster' after drinking '24 hours a day', with the star admitting he 'couldn't save' his sibling.

Tragic: In his new Channel 4 documentary – which airs on Monday – Will, 43, reflected on the tumultuous time in which Rupert turned into a ‘monster’ after drinking ’24 hours a day’, with the star admitting he ‘couldn’t save’ his sibling.

Reflecting on how he felt following Rupert’s death, Will said: ‘I had a big moment where I realised I couldn’t save him and that brought a whole lot of grief. Now I just feel very grateful that I got 42 years with him.’

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In a heartbreaking statement, he added in the documentary: ‘I did everything I could to not let him die’. 

For decades, Rupert battled with his mental health, including depression and PTSD, and made many suicide threats and attempts and in the film, the singer told how it was ‘important’ to tell Rupert’s story so that others suffering would not ‘feel alone’.

Will detailed how the downward spiral began after the twins were abused by teachers in boarding school, with Rupert beginning to self-harm aged 13 before later going on to make his first suicide attempt at 18.

Family: Rupert fell from Westminster Bridge in July 2020 following a long battle with mental health and an addiction to alcohol and painkillers (Rupert and Will pictured in 2008)

Family: Rupert fell from Westminster Bridge in July 2020 following a long battle with mental health and an addiction to alcohol and painkillers (Rupert and Will pictured in 2008)

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The Leave Right Now singer said that despite therapy and rehab, Rupert’s depression continued and recalled a distressing time when Rupert was sat in the Pop Idol audience with his ‘his wrists dripping with blood’ following an earlier suicide attempt.

Rupert refused medical attention until he’d seen his brother perform on stage.

Will revealed in the film that his success on Pop Idol, which he won after beating Gareth Gates, saw Rupert sinking deeper into alcohol addiction, with his sibling using his fame to jump ‘nightclub queue after nightclub queue, saying, ‘I’m Will Young’s brother’.’

Will shared: ‘The stories that came back to me. The amount of people that know Rupert around London is insane, particularly if it’s a pretty brunette.

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”Oh, I met your brother’. Yeah, I bet you have. I found it hysterical.’

Amid his soaring fame, Will then discovered the true extent of his brother’s drinking, before noting: ‘but the anxiety and depression Rupert felt was there before the alcohol’.

Sad: Speaking candidly in Will Young: Losing My Twin Rupert, the Pop Idol winner heartbreakingly told how after Rupert had taken his own life, he 'had a big moment where I realised I couldn’t save him' (pictured in October 2021)

Sad: Speaking candidly in Will Young: Losing My Twin Rupert, the Pop Idol winner heartbreakingly told how after Rupert had taken his own life, he ‘had a big moment where I realised I couldn’t save him’ (pictured in October 2021)

Recalling how alcohol would change his brother, Will explained: ‘I could tell really quickly when he was drunk. You’d see that look in his eye. He would turn and it was scary.’

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Amid the devastating look back at Rupert’s demons, the documentary saw Will and his parents Robin and Annabel take a trip down memory lane with childhood pictures and videos.

Will and Rupert’s dad Robin reflected: ‘He gave us a lot of joy. And it’s just…it seems such a waste that he is gone now.’

With mum Annabel adding: ‘Good times, happy times.’ 

While another emotional scene sees Will and a woman break down as they look at a mural embroidered with fabric containing messages from people whose loved ones battle addiction. 

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The All Time Love later added his own fabric with a message which simply read ‘It’s OK’, indicating his acceptance and understanding that his brother could no longer go on. 

Shocking: The Leave Right Now singer said that despite therapy and rehab, Rupert's depression continued and recalled a distressing time when Rupert was sat in the Pop Idol audience with his 'his wrists dripping with blood' following an earlier suicide attempt (pictured with Will in 2009)

Shocking: The Leave Right Now singer said that despite therapy and rehab, Rupert’s depression continued and recalled a distressing time when Rupert was sat in the Pop Idol audience with his ‘his wrists dripping with blood’ following an earlier suicide attempt (pictured with Will in 2009) 

Rupert died on July 30 2020, just days after he was admitted to Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital on July 28, when he had been seen walking along the edge of a bridge in the capital.

St Pancras Coroner’s Court in north London was told he had been admitted to hospital four times in the week prior to his death, as he struggled with alcoholism and his mental health.

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He was trying to avoid homelessness and told hospital staff that he had been attempting to contact his father for a place to stay before leaving the hospital without telling anyone, the inquest heard.

Senior coroner Mary Hassell gave a ruling of suicide at a hearing in January, finding that Rupert had intended to take his own life.

Following the conclusion of the inquest, singer Will said it had been a difficult time for himself and his family.

‘Those working within the NHS do an amazing job under very difficult circumstances,’ he told reporters.

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Loss: Rupert died on July 30 2020, just days after he was admitted to Guy's and St Thomas' Hospital on July 28, when he had been seen walking along the edge of a bridge in the capital (Rupert pictured in 2008)

Loss: Rupert died on July 30 2020, just days after he was admitted to Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital on July 28, when he had been seen walking along the edge of a bridge in the capital (Rupert pictured in 2008)

‘And it’s never been more hard-pressed than at the moment, of course.

‘However, my brother is someone who had, in the months and weeks before his death, been into hospital on countless times following suicide attempts.’

Will said he was ‘astounded’ that his brother had been allowed to leave hospital two days after his suicide attempt without being referred to a consultant psychiatrist.

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‘It is my belief that it must, or should have, been obvious to all concerned that he was at high risk of suicide and should have been detained under the Mental Health Act for his own safety,’ he said.

‘Had this been done, he might still be alive today. I know we are not the only family in this situation and I pray that lessons are learned from this situation and that some of these deaths are prevented in the future.’

Will said in a statement after Rupert's death: 'It was very enlightening and emotional to make this film and I am extremely proud of everyone's involvement in it' (pictured in 2021)

Will said in a statement after Rupert’s death: ‘It was very enlightening and emotional to make this film and I am extremely proud of everyone’s involvement in it’ (pictured in 2021) 

Will, who was thrust into the spotlight after winning Pop Idol in 2002, attended his brother’s inquest in December where he described himself as his brother’s carer before it ‘became too much’.

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Speaking at the inquest, Will said: ‘I was a carer for him, but it became too much. He could not look after himself and I did not believe he could look after his own life.

‘I feel it is difficult for me. I am someone who is pretty in control over my emotional well-being. I am a functional adult. I have done a lot of work on myself.’

The Coroner heard Rupert had an ongoing problem with alcohol and painkiller addiction which improved when he was around animals, dogs and horses in particular.

A toxicologist report showed he had alcohol in his system at the time of his death.

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Will Young: Losing My Twin Rupert is on Channel 4, Tuesday at 10.05pm.

For confidential support, call the Samaritans on 116123 or visit a local Samaritans branch. See www.samaritans.org for details. 

Tragic loss: Will previously shared a sweet snap of his late twin brother Rupert as he heartbreakingly admitted he 'misses his best pal'

Tragic loss: Will previously shared a sweet snap of his late twin brother Rupert as he heartbreakingly admitted he ‘misses his best pal’

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