Stephen Fry Opened Up About A Homophobic Attack That Left Him “Trembling"

The broadcaster bravely relived his ordeal.

Stephen Fry
Getty Images

While appearing as a guest on food critic Jay Rayner’s podcast Out To Lunch, actor, comedian and all-round national treasure Stephen Fry opened up about enduring horrendous homophobic abuse at an FA Cup football match.

“I remember once going to the FA Cup in Wembley and, as I was walking in… this furious face suddenly loomed right in front of me,” Fry told Rayner on his podcast. “It was a skinhead and [he said], ‘You’re a f***ing p**f, I’m gonna f***ing get you.”

“I thought it was a joke, so I went, ‘That’s right, dear,’ and he went crazy,” Fry recollected. “He was coming towards me, and his friend started to pull him back, and then other people said, ‘Go away, go away, go’” Fry added. “I realised that person, his eyes were genuinely filled with hate, and he would have quite happily nutted me and stamped on my head, and that is a shock.”

The abuse left Fry “trembling for hours afterwards” and, looking back, he acknowledged that it was one of the first times he had been threatened with physical violence. “It was innocent and pathetic of me because lots of people live in that fear of physical violence much closer to them all their lives,” he said. “It’s so rare for me that it really was a shock.”

On the podcast — which features Rayner going for lunch with a different celebrity each episode — the pair dined out on fine seafood at Wilton’s Restaurant in London, right around the corner from Fry’s house. Elsewhere, the broadcaster spoke of “coming out” as Jewish, his memories of ‘80s London during the AIDS crisis, and his relationship with comedian Elliott Spencer, his husband of seven years. “Elliott is such a gentle and patient, and quiet person, so uninterested in showbiz things,” Fry said, adding that his partner helps to keep him grounded.

“It’s wonderful to know that he regards my job, what I do, with interest, and is proud and pleased when I do things he likes and do well — and he can see they make me happy, but he’s not in any way glamourised by the nature of fame and opportunity and all those things. That gives a great stability to it.”

If you’ve been affected by homophobic abuse or violence, the LGBTQ+ charity Galop is here to help, and runs an LGBT+ Hate Crime hotline for dedicated advice, support, and guidance. They’re just one of many incredible UK organisations advocating for queer people’s safety and happiness.