Soccer legend Paul Gascoigne’s son today reveals he is bisexual and says: “I haven’t told Dad yet, but he will approve.”
Regan Gascoigne, 23, says he has dated men but his world-famous father has no idea.
He tells the Sunday Mirror: “I’m bisexual, I date men and women. I’m really open about that.
“I haven’t had a lot of relationships though. I’ve only dated three people. I haven’t told my dad but I don’t think he will mind.
“He is proud of me whatever I do and whatever decisions I make.”
Musical theatre hopeful Regan also talks about his fractured upbringing as dad Gazza battled booze demons – and how he just wants him to be happy.
Some childhood weekends were spent at The Priory clinic, where the ex-England star underwent rehab for alcohol, drug and mental health issues.
But Regan – whose mum is Gazza’s ex-wife Sheryl, 54 – vows: “The past is the past. He’s my dad, I’ll always love him and he’ll always love me no matter what.”
As well as appearing on BBC1 show The Greatest Dancer in January, Regan is a rising star of the music world.
He sang with Demi Lovato and Urban Voices Collective at the Europe Music Awards and on ITV’s The Real Full Monty: Ladies’ Night.
He tells how as a boy he left ex-Spurs and England idol Gazza crestfallen by rejecting a gift of football boots – and asking for ballet shoes instead.
Regan is speaking weeks after his dad was cleared by a jury of sexual assault, after he kissed a woman on a train.
Recalling growing up alongside Gazza’s adopted kids Mason and Bianca, he says: “I first realised Dad had a problem with drink when I used to spend weekends in The Priory.
“Although that might sound weird, to have spent some of your childhood playing there, we did used to have some funny times.
“I would always play pranks. We have similar traits… OCD being one of them. So I used to mess up his bathroom and bedroom on purpose.
“And we’d move statues and tell people they had come alive.”
When he was 12 Regan appeared in a documentary saying he wanted Gazza out of his life.
He said at the time: “If I could wish, I’d wish that he would go away from us.
“He’s probably going to die soon.
“Because he’s the top player doesn’t mean he’s a good dad or good person to be with, does it, really?”
Gazza had walked out on his son when he was a baby after a string of violent rows with Sheryl.
He returned, only to storm out again – then reject the family’s pleas to quit booze when they tracked him down to Portugal.
Time has been a healer and Regan wants to focus on happier times, saying he is proud of his dad.
They don’t see a lot of each other – last time was when Gazza watched him in a show almost a year ago.
Regan says: “We were in the middle of our bows and it goes quiet.
“Dad just stood up in the Dress Circle and shouted ‘I love you Regan’. I was so embarrassed – but trying not to laugh at the same time.
“Dad is always crazy, you never know what he is going to do. He’s always up for a laugh.
“We would go on some amazing holidays, we spent a lot of time at Disneyland.
“If I could get Dad to sit still we would watch films together. Hocus Pocus was a popular one.
“Dad has a full cupboard of sweets, cookies and jellies. We love our sugar.
“Also he does funny things. He likes to crush things so, at Easter, if you are walking round a shop, he’ll crush the eggs.
“As everyone knows, he’s a laugh.”
But Regan admits there was little to smile about during his parents’ bitter and well-publicised break-up.
He watched his father’s life spiral out of control amid near-deadly binges.
Regan got through the tough times by concentrating on performing.
He says: “When negative things were happening, performing would distract me from it. Unfortunately, it is a very sad situation, but that is life.
“It has been my life. Every family has problems, unfortunately I have grown up around that, but I don’t dwell on it.”
Unlike Gazza, Regan has no interest in soccer and says of school PE lessons: “We used to do sport and play football, but I used to just pirouette down the white line on the pitch.
“Ever since I could walk I was always spinning around dancing, putting on little shows for friends and family. I don’t think I let Dad down because I chose a different career path.
“Dad tells me what he had to do to become successful, so I can apply the same to my career.
“He managed to make his dreams come true, so I can see when you’re dedicated to something you can achieve your goals.”
Regan danced for the English National Ballet before joining Tring Performing Arts School in Herts.
He has sung in Trafalgar Square for March 4 Women and danced with Qdos Entertainment in pantomimes for the last four years.
He stays fit and even makes healthy green shakes for Gazza when he visits.
But is he worried about being thrust into the limelight after seeing Gazza battle his demons so publicly?
Regan adds: “I have stayed away from the limelight. Performing is what I do, so I love to be judged on just that. That is a big thing for me.
“I don’t want to be famous, I just want to be successful in what I do.
“My mum worries when I don’t get a job, or face rejection, and the fame side of it.
“I wouldn’t want to not have Dad as dad but I would love to grow up not being the son of a famous person.
“I find it really hard. Because people know what he does, they assume I’m a joke act or I’m not actually going be able to dance or sing.
“But like Dad tells me, if I keep working hard, I can achieve anything.”
And of Gazza’s welfare, he says: “Like any child, you worry about your parents. I just want him to be healthy and happy.
“I love my dad, of course I do. We always tell each other that. We are a very loving and close family.
“We have our own lives, he is busy doing his thing. So when we do spend time together, you appreciate it more.”