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PUSHING BACK THE FRONTIERS OF SEXUALITY

OK! Magazine
1995

Bee Gee Robin Gibb outraged his family and friends by revealing on live radio, "My wife's a lesbian and I love it." His outburst caused such reverberations that he refused even to confirm whether it was true or not.
Now, Robin and Dwina talk for the first time about their most unusual marriage...
(Interview by Ian Woodward)

The Bee Gees string of pop hits brought Robin Gibb 50 million but, he says, it was his wife Dwina who brought him liberation.... As we sit by the pool in their sumptuous Miami mansion, he looks at her and says: "Dwina's brought
something to my private life which I doubt any other woman could bring." As for Dwina, she says: "If Robin hadn't come along, I would never have married. Definitely not."
She may not be a great advocate of marriage, but the couple have been together 15 years now and celebrate their 10th wedding anniversary on July 31st. They have even weathered the storm that raged in the British tabloids following Robin's revelation on American radio that his wife was a lesbian.
At the time, a shocked Dwina said "I'm going to kill him", and Robin has remained tight-lipped on the subject since then. But now the couple want to tell it how it is. Robin, 45, whose hits include "Night Fever", "Stayin' Alive", "If I can't have you" and "Massachussetts", explains: "I was being interviewed by the biggest shock jockey in the US on live radio. You have to shock with him or you become the butt of his treatment, so I got in first. It wasn't until I got on the plane later to go to London that I realised
what a can of worms I'd opened... but yes it's true, Dwina is bisexual with me."
Dwina says she wasn't hurt by Robin's revelations, but admits: "His comments did upset me, but only because I was worried about how my family, my mother and our son Robin-John (now 12) would take it. I didn't have shames about
what Robin said, and I still don't. I've always been liberated. No one can hurt me in anything they do or say, I just carry on living my life."
And a very luxurious lifestyle she has, too. After the dust had settled, she decided to impose a fine on her husband: "I said, "You owe me the biggest diamond ever", and as I like Jaguars he gave me a diamond-blue XJRS with a
numberplate that says DRUID." Dwina, who was born in Northern Ireland, is a Druid leader as well as a successful artist and novelist. And, to show him all was forgiven, she gave Robin a gold ring with a cameo of Lord Nelson which had belonged to Lady Hamilton.
The couple are physically very different - Robin is extremely thin in drainpipe jeans, with diamond ear stud and bikers boots, and Dwina, 40, is blonde and blooming - but they believe they are kindred spirits.
"We share the same philosophy about breaking down the barriers erected by society, about pushing back the frontiers in terms of sexuality," says Dwina. And Robin says that she's "made me more open, liberated me". He
insists: "We have freedom to do our own thing. If we're parted from each other for two or three weeks, we don't worry about it. We don't have any jealousies. We've passed the frantic boyfriend / girlfriend thing."
"If Robin met another woman and wanted to have a fling, so what?" asks Dwina. "We have a spiritual / physical bond whereby we know we're always going to be together. And, because of AIDS, we're extra careful not to march
unthinkingly into extra-marital affairs."
Robin comes straight to the point. "I knew Dwina was gay when we married, but that didn't matter because I was in love with her; I still am very much in love with her. And, anyway, she is bisexual with me. She is the best wife any husband could want."
"If we find somebody who sexually excites us, we can actually talk to each other about it," says Dwina. "We'll discuss it without fear of feeling guilty. It's totally open. We like to cruise and we like to watch."
The Bee Gee leans forward. "All of which is why I got an enormous kick from talking about this on the radio. There was no malicious intention, just high-spirited tomfoolery in order to engage the moment."
Says Dwina: "He was trying to shock - and he certainly shocked my mother!"
So what did his brothers Maurice and Barry, who live close by, think?
"They're used to Robin," Dwina answers. "On one radio show they were asked what past lives they might have led, and Robin piped up, "Barry was probably a rent-boy for Oscar Wilde". He tends to throw in these bombshells.
That attraction began back in 1980. "Our first meeting was at Maurice's house", she recalls. "Robin was going to commission me to do some artwork, and I remember him peeping out from behind the curtains as I arrived with
some drawings."
Robin, who has two older children (Spencer, 22, and Melissa, 21 in June), was going through his divorce. He says: "I wasn't actually looking for anybody to have a relationship with. It was a pretty heavy period for me,
but in the end, we were both won over. We have the same sense of humour, the same interests in history and life.
"She's always accepted me totally for what I am, as I have her. We've both benefited from each other's lives, attitudes and personalities. It's a chemistry thing. Ours is very much a case where two similars have attracted.
I couldn't live with somebody who was opposite to me, or who held grudges. We never go to bed on an argument."
Dwina remembers, "I'd been a loner for about 10 years when I first met Robin. I'd had a little girl who was born prematurely and. sadly, she died. I was too busy working to give any thought to romance, living among brick dust in a house in south-east London while trying to do it up. I didn't have a roof over my kitchen and I was using the electric fire to cook three course meals."
She now has an in-house chef in each of her millionaire-rowhomes.
She goes on: "Not long after Robin and I met, we both knew we wanted a child together before actually being with each other. We felt ours would be good genes to put together. But the baby never came along until we started living
together. Robin found a breath of fresh air blowing through his life when he met me. I've brought him so many things, and vice versa. I'm poet, artist and novelist, and he has helped me to focus on getting things finished."
Dwina is certainly a prolific author. She's just finished a novel, "The Shackles", set among the gay and straight communities of Miami's South Beach area. Two other yet-to-be-published books, "Under Wraps" and "Whispers Tell Lies", explore women's relationships.
"Writing about a woman who has this deep love for another woman is a subject that's completely natural for me to tackle," she says. "There's a section in "Whispers tells Lies" about lesbianism and voyeurism. These are books I just
had to write. I don't like the boundaries that society confronts us with and Robin's the same. He was breaking boundaries when he talked about me on that radio show."
As they look back on 10 years of marriage, Robin, whose solo hits include "Oh Darlin" and "Saved By The Bell", says: "We weren't really that interested in the idea of being married. We didn't even contemplate it, lt alone expect it."
"Anyway," reflects Dwina, "I don't think that a piece of paper really ties you down. I've always been a rebel in that respect, and so has Robin."
"But," he insists, "that doesn't mean we have multiple partners. It simply means that we make our commitments in the eyes of God."
Robin says he fell in love with Dwina for her looks, personality and sexuality as much as for her spirituality. Today, she is a Druid leader - her full title is Patroness of the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids - and one room in the Miami home houses spiritual artefacts from around the world.
"I've always shared Dwina's spirituality," says Robin, "though I've never actually been converted to Druidism. It's really a belief in the elements and the worship of nature, rather than dancing naked around Stonehenge."
But Robin does have some unusual beliefs of his own. He believes he was Dwina's brother in a previous life. Dwina, descendant of an Irish king, looked into their family trees and found that one of her ancestors married one of his ancestors. She says: "We're almost like twins. We were born on the same day."
And he's also obsessed with historical figures. "First it was Charles Dickens, the Oliver Cromwell, then Winston Churchill. Now I share my bed with Horatio Nelson," reveals Dwina. "And, of course, living in a house with such historical connections as this, he's in his element."
Apparently the house was frequented by President John F Kennedy 30 odd years ago. He took a succession of blonde lovelies there for amorous trysts, including Marilyn Monroe. "Our bedroom is where Kennedy made love to all his
girlfriends," says Robin, who seems to have a penchant for buying former lovenests. His previous Miami home, four doors down, was the hideaway of gangster Al Capone and Hollywood movie queen Lana Turner. When Robin-John was born, the Gibbs moved to their present abode.
"It was like the castle after Sleeping Beauty's 100-year sleep, all over-grown," he says. "And inside, it was almost like Miss Havisham's house in "Great Expectations": everything covered in dust. It had been pretty much empty since Kennedy's assasination. I used to drive past it every day though you couldn't see the house for overgrowth. The gates were open and people would drive in and use the
grounds for love-making sessions. I saw there was potential. I just knew this had to be my house in America. We've now been here for 12 years and I never tire of the place."
Their Miami home is where Robin and Dwina work, Robin on a new Bee Gees album at their own recording studio in Miami and Dwina finishing her Celtic saga, "Cormac: The Sage". When they want to relax, they go to their 4 million medieval property set in 20 acres in Oxfordshire.
Theirs may not be a conventional marriage but they're adamant it is one that works. "Our marriage has always been the same," she says softly, "and I think it always will be. We have a special relationship."
"A very special relationship," endorses her husband, as they sit in their gazebo looking across a magnificent moonlit bay. "We have a healthy understanding of each other's needs. I understand her creative spirit."
"It's impossible," insists Dwina, "to have a conventional lifestyle if you are creative people."
"Ours is not a conventional lifestyle," says Robin. "We don't live by the rules. What we do in our private lives might not be to many people's liking, but that's their problem. Life should be lived to the full, and that's what
we're doing. I'm not a monk, and Dwina's not a nun!




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