Freddie Mercury's private life was underpinned by his relationship with Mary Austin, who he described as the "love of my life."

Before they met though, Freddie was enjoying a passionate relationship with a fellow art college student, who claims 'begged her not to leave him'.

Freddie's first girlfriend was reportedly Rose Pearson and she has spoken about her regrets surrounding their split and why she would have struggled to accept his sexuality like Mary would.

She reveals her pain and regrets over their split but could never accept Freddie's true nature in the way that Mary was able to.

Freddie Mercury in 1970

Pearson, who is now called Dr Rose Rose revealed to Channel 5 documentary, Freddie Mercury A Christmas Story, that the Queen frontman had been questioning his sexuality in the late 60s.

While he settled with Mary Austin in the early 70s, by the middle of the decade Freddie was enjoying the company of men and this would eventually end his romance with Mary.

Speaking about her relationship with the iconic singer, Rose told the documentary: "I think I was Freddie’s first girlfriend.

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"We had a physical relationship and he was a very ardent lover. He was different.

"I liked the fact that he was somehow preoccupied with some creative activity. I didn’t know what it was.

"I didn’t know he was going to become a singer then. But I had a suspicion he might."

Freddie called Mary Austin 'the love of his life'

The pair met at Ealing College of Art in the late 1960s and for a year straddling into the 70s, they had a very passionate relationship which Rose has described as 'intense'.

Rose recalled: "He didn't do that much work. In the studio, he just sang all the time.

"He was charismatic, dressed outrageously – sometimes in shorts, no top and a fur coat – and was determined to make it as a singer. He was a clown, so much fun to be around.

"Freddie was also the only truly fearless person I ever met."

Freddie Mercury performing in 1983

Rose admitted that Freddie's attraction to men had started to become a problem for them and their relationship suffered as she struggled to cope with his desires.

She continued: "He see-sawed between wanting to be with me and wanting these other adventures.

"He seemed to want both at once. Even when I was with him late at night sometimes, he would be warm and affectionate, then say, 'I wonder what it's like with a man?'

"I found it very hard to take. I felt I was not enough for him and my confidence sank."

Freddie was questioning his sexuality in the late 60s

Rose had already got her own circle of gay friends, which included the then unknown director Derek Jarman and artist David Hockney.

She said that Freddie pressured her to let him meet then but she always refused.

Rose explained: "I felt that if he ever met these people, then that would be it. They would take him from me, and I would be shut out."

When she decided that enough was enough and ended the relationship with Freddie, Rose claims that he didn't take it too well.

Freddie Mercury photographed in September 1977 with his girlfriend Mary Austin

She remembers: "It was awful. He begged me not to go, and said he didn't understand.

"I knew that I could not bear to be simply his friend, hearing about his other relationships. So it had to be the end."

Looking back at her time with Freddie, Rose now says that she is grateful that she was so intimately involved with the singer.

Freddie Mercurywith his friend Mary Austin, during Mercury's 38th birthday party at the Xenon nightclub

She said: "I haven't acknowledged until now the massive impact knowing Freddie had on me.

"For me, he was the ultimate model of how to follow your dream.

"The experience of loving him left me feeling rejected and uncertain, but in the end, it gave me the impetus to be my own person, to try and do what he had done."

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