Ian Thorpe has broken his silence on his relationship with Latin singer Ricky Martin.
Ian, 31, who revealed he was gay in July, says he was encouraged to openly discuss his sexuality after being mentored by Ricky, 42. But despite reports that the pair are a couple, they appear to be just good friends.
“Well I speak to him but that is about it,” Ian said defensively when asked about their friendship by the Daily Telegraph, as he was honoured as the 2014 “Man of Influence” at the GQ Awards.
“We’re mates, he is a really good guy.”
And it seems Ricky feels the same way. At the time of Ian revealing his sexuality, Ricky, who split from his long-time beau Carlos Abella in January, praised him for giving the gay community a powerful new voice.
Ian is recognised by GQ magazine as the 2014 “Man of Influence”.
“He has no idea what he’s doing for the lesbian, gay and bisexual community around the world,” Ricky said.
“He is so powerful… there are millions of little boys and girls around the world struggling with their sexual identity.
“To have someone as powerful and successful as him saying it’s OK to be who you are and be happy – kudos Ian, I’m very proud of you.”
Speaking at the GQ Awards event in Sydney, Ian revealed he feels ashamed that he didn’t reveal his sexuality sooner.
“I’m a little bit ashamed that I didn’t come out earlier, that I didn’t have the strength to do it,” he said.
“I didn’t have the courage to do it, to break that lie.”
Ian, who has kept a low profile since his tell all interview, says he now plans to move back to Australia from Switzerland to work on some new TV opportunities.