Group sex, drugs and brawls – what the wholesome ’90s boybands really got up to

With their floppy hair and pearly-whites, the boybands of the nineties were the stuff of teenage dreams.

But behind closed doors, some of the seemingly innocent stars were living like rock stars – boozing, brawling and bedding fans.

From Blue members high-fiving over threesomes to A1 stars coming to fisty cuffs over the ladies, the lads were living it large.

But there was also a darker side to the debauchery, with other boybanders spiralling into addiction and mental illness while one singer's actions on a wild weekend cost him his marriage and a lot of cash…

Blue


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Bandmates Lee Ryan and Duncan James were so close that they used to bed the same women – at the same time.

Admitting to having group sex, Lee, 36, said they "did some crazy s**t with each other" back in the band's hey day.

"Me and Duncan had threesomes! In the past we've done some s**t like that," he told New magazine in 2010.

Insisting he didn't find it strange having sex in front of his pal, he continued: "It's not weird… you just high five each other. I think they call it a spit roast."

As the band's resident hellraiser, Lee also got himself banned from a strip club for bedding five of the dancers in five days.

Take That

Despite the chainmail codpieces, Howard Donald, Gary Barlow, Jason Orange, Mark Owen and Robbie Williams prided themselves on their pedestrian reputation.

But in later life, Howard, 51, let slip that he and Robbie had a bizarre group masturbating contest on the back of a tour bus while the others looked on.

“It were me and Rob… it only happened once,” he told Q magazine, admitting he lost.

Bystander Mark added: “That was an odd one, that… I think I was more of an observer," while Jason joked: "W**king competitions? All boys do that."

Despite their squeaky clean image, the band also dabbled with drugs, but felt 'guilty' when it turned into something much more serious for Robbie.

Howard once said: "The thing is we smoked weed and giggled like idiots. And before Take That I dabbled with drugs LSD mainly. Robbie was different. He has a more addictive personality."

Robbie – who is now sober after several stints in rehab – has admitted he once took so much cocaine his entire arm went numb.

"I was so deep into addiction I knew I was probably going to die soon but I didn't care," he said.

Westlife

When Brian McFadden married Kerry Katona in January 2002, a popstar power couple was born.

But sadly their happiness was to be short lived after a lap dancer revealed she'd got intimate with Brian on his stag do.

Amy Barker said she and another lapdancer were hired to entertain the boys on a coach trip from Dublin to Limerick in 2001.

Once back at the hotel, Brian came to her room and she performed a sex act on him.

Initially he denied her claims but ended up issuing an apology and settling out of court when she sued him for libel.

He later told The Sun: “It was a lads night out, a typical stag do. We were all quite drunk.

“I was sitting on the edge of the bed when the woman undid my flies and began to perform oral sex. I was disorientated, it was very unexotic and unerotic. It lasted all of 30 seconds before I came to my senses and realised how stupid I was being.

“I felt guilty, ashamed, grubby. It had started as a bit of a laugh and gone too far, ended in disaster."

The episode ended his marriage to Kerry, 39, which he then branded a 'sham', claiming they'd only married for the money.

“The day my marriage ended was on the stag night," he told Reveal magazine.

“That was the time I felt ‘this is not supposed to be.'

"Me and Kerry didn’t even see each other on our wedding night. If we hadn’t had kids, the marriage wouldn’t have lasted as long as it did.

5ive

Band member Abz Love had partied hard with the group, but when they split in 2001 he spiralled into addiction and psychosis and 'saw the devil'.

"I didn't want the band to split at all. I was lost, they were my lifeline. I didn't have any friends or family at the time. I started hanging around the wrong people, paying people to be my friend," the 40 year old told Loose Women in 2018.

"I met the devil and it looked like me. I don’t know what it was, I was so far off. I remember my heart palpitations felt like they were punching through my chest into the mattress.

"It happened twice, and the voice said 'One more time, one more time and we’re gonna take you.' It wasn’t exactly like that but I knew then I had to sort it."

Having hit rock bottom, he fled London for rural Wales and went cold turkey.

"I didn't go to rehab, its the worst thing you can do. My two dogs were my shock absorbers, they'd love me and they'd take away my pain," he said.

A1

The Take On Me singers appeared to be the most clean cut band on the block, but behind closed doors Ben Adams and Christian Ingebrigtsen would regularly come to blows over the fans they wanted to sleep with.

Their bandmate Mark Read told The Big Reunion: “Ben and Christian were very competitive. There was always a clash.

“For some reason they’d always go after the same girl. This is going to cause problems. If Christian was interested in a girl, Ben would think: ‘I can go for her and I can get her before him.’”

Recalling one particularly vicious bust-up, Ben said: “One time Christian was going to punch me and he must have thought: ‘This is a bad idea,’ so he opened his hand and slapped me instead.”

And Christian admitted he was deeply jealous of his nemesis.

“Ben was the most popular one in the group and there was envy from my side," he said.

"He always loved to be the centre of attention and I wanted to be there too.”

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