MLA receives ‘hate mail’ after Elton John Aids row
Thursday, 8 December 2016
HIS Aids Foundation may have raised over $200 million dollars for research and education programmes, but this week megastar Elton John has been condemned for wading into a row about awareness of HIV sparked by a local MLA.
DUP man Trevor Clarke found himself at the centre of a media storm when he admitted that until he was briefed recently by a charity, he believed that the disease only affected members of the gay community.
It was an extraordinary confession, compounded by the fact that he made it in the chamber at Stormont, and the media had a field day.
There was, however, worse to come. Much worse.
Within days, news of Mr Clarke's candid comments had reached the legendary pop star - and the 'Rocket Man' proved that any night's alright for fighting when it comes to a cause so close to his heart.
“A Northern Ireland politician said the other day he didn't know that heterosexual people could get Aids or HIV," said Elton during a BBC interview.
“So, it's like: 'What planet are you living on?'"
The comment plucked the South Antrim rep from relative obscurity on to the global stage - and, as his comments went viral on social media, the hate mail arrived thick and fast.
“Some of the messages I've been getting are vile. I've just stopped reading them," Mr Clarke told the Antrim Guardian.
*Read the full exclusive interview with Mr Clarke in this week's Antrim Guardian
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