WRESTLING LEGEND FINALLY REMOVES HIS MASK Kendo: I’ve been bisexual for 50yrs
MASKED wrestling hero Kendo Nagasaki today reveals he’s been secretly living as a bisexual – for half a century.
The icon of the 70s and 80s drew TV audiences of up to 14 million with his teatime grapples. But his fans had no idea that the star – who married in 1986 – was having flings with men.
And today Kendo – real name Peter Thornley – discloses he has a male partner who has been with since the death of wife Yvette in 1993, aged 80.
Peter reveals his sexuality in his autobiography, Kendo Nagasaki and the Man Behind the Mask, to raise funds for the Lee Rigby Foundation, which helps veterans and terror victims in memory of the slain soldier.
And Peter revealed that his life changed forever after a chance encounter at a gay-friendly bar in 1967.
The fighter, who wore Samurai outfits – told the Sunday People: “I knew about my sexuality as early as 17, but it wasn’t until I was 26 that I started to be really me.
“By the time I became a TV star back in 1972, I’d had a flings with other men. But there was no way Kendo Nagasaki, the macho bad boy of wrestling, could tell his story back then.
“People would never have accepted it, but thank goodness we live in
Back then, people wouldn’t accept it. But times have changed
“I just hope my story helps others, and that my fans stick by me.”
Peter, 76, is a major benefactor of the Lee Rigby Foundation. It was set up by Lyn Rigby after her fusilier son Lee, 25, was hacked to death by terrorists in 2013 near his barracks in Woolwich, South East London.
Peter has donated property on his Staffordshire estate to the foundation, which is based there, and is now home to Lee’s mother Lyn, 51, father Peter, 59, and two of their four daughters.
His 50-room manor also houses the Kendo Nagasaki Foundation, where he teaches Zen spiritualism and mindfulness. It is a much more sedate existence than his wrestling career, which was colourful, to say the least.
Along with wowing fans on Saturday afternoons on ITV’S World of Sport Wrestling live show, he was once stabbed in the back with a pen by a spectator, while another fan hit him on the head with a brick. At one show, a woman screamed: “You’re f ***** g evil, Nagasaki.”
As well as wrestling, the multimillionaire has made a fortune through car dealerships and the property market. He also owns the Trades Hotel and the Kaos gay bar in Blackpool.
During his career, Kendo was managed by gay showman