WRESTLING LEG­END FI­NALLY RE­MOVES HIS MASK Kendo: I’ve been bi­sex­ual for 50yrs

The People - - NEWS FEATURES - By David Jarvis

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

dif­fer­ent times.

“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.

Do­na­tion

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

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