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Jonathan Knight Recalls Pressure to Stay Closeted During NKOTB’s Heyday: ’If Anybody Finds Out, Your Career Is Over’

todayJanuary 18, 2023

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Jonathan Knight looked back on his coming out journey in a new conversation with Lance Bass on Monday (Jan 16).


Speaking on the latest episode of the *NSYNC member’s podcast, Lance Bass Presents: Frosted Tips, the New Kids on the Block singer explained that his manager knew he was gay at the time, but instructed him to stay closeted for the sake of the boy band. “He pulled me aside and was like, ‘If anybody finds out, your career is over. The New Kids’ career is over. My career is over,’” he recalled. “It was just so much pressure.

“Looking back, that was a lot of pressure to put on somebody who’s just trying to figure out the world themselves,” the ’80s heartthrob went on. “As it went along, the stress built up and built up and built up.”

Ultimately, Knight was forced out of the closet in 2009 after a former boyfriend sold photos of himself with the star to The National Enquirer. At the time, he felt forced to address his identity publicly, saying, “I didn’t want to. I was just living my life … it wasn’t something I was hiding. But then it was like, ‘No, you have to make a statement. You have to clear the air.’ And that whole process was horrible.”

During his chat with Bass and guest co-host Joey Fatone, Knight also shared his struggle to have kids with husband Harley Rodriguez, revealing that the couple spent five years trying to start a family. “It just didn’t happen for us,” he told his fellow boy banders. “Going through the process, like, ‘Today’s the day the eggs are being [transferred], you’re so excited, and you’re so happy. And then, you know, a week later it’s like, ‘No, you’re back to square one.’”

Listen to Knight’s full interview on Lance Bass Presents: Frosted Tips below.

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