Paul O’Grady, a much-loved TV star passed away on March 28, 2023, and one mourner was notably absent from his funeral- the woman he was secretly married to for 28 years.
Teresa Fernandes, now 73 years old, has broken her silence and talked about her sadness over Paul’s death and her affection for the gay icon she married in 1977.
Who is Teresa Fernandes?
Paul O’Grady and Teresa met while working at The Showcase, a gay bar in North London in the early 1970s. When Teresa’s visa was about to expire, and her mother was pushing her to get married, Paul proposed a ‘marriage of convenience’ to solve the dilemma.
According to Teresa, she was never going to be kicked out of the country as her papers were always in order. Still, her mother was always asking when she was getting married, so Paul helped her to keep her mother happy.
So, they got married in the registered office at Harrow Road with some friends. However, their marriage was never consummated, and they never lived together.
Teresa has many fond memories of her friendship with Paul. She describes him as a close and special friend but admits that they did not really love each other.
She is saddened by his death, but she did not attend his funeral as it was too far for her to travel.
In Paul’s autobiography ‘The Devil Rides Out,’ he mentioned a night when Teresa stepped in to save him from an argument with a foul-mouthed lesbian customer.
When the customer demanded a large rum, Paul ignored her, and she insulted him.
Teresa, a Portuguese barmaid, stepped in and told the customer to leave. When the customer threw her drink at Teresa, Teresa fought back. The customer was then removed from the club.
Teresa says that she was lesbian and Paul was gay, and their marriage would never have worked. They had a great time as friends, and even though it was almost 50 years ago, she has many great memories of him.
Although Paul O’Grady may have been famous, he never forgot his friendship with Teresa, who helped him out when he needed it.