NKOTB’s Jonathan Knight recalls ‘pressure’ to hide sexuality

Jonathan Knight felt “pressure” to hide his sexuality as a member of New Kids on the Block.

The singer claimed in Monday’s episode of Lance Bass’ “Frosted Tips” podcast that his manager had advised him not to “say anything” about being gay.

“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,’” Knight alleged.

The 54-year-old went on to describe the anxiety he experienced at the time.

“The stress built up and built up and built up,” he recalled. “It was crazy.”

Knight was the first member of the boy band to leave, parting ways with Donnie Wahlberg, Danny Wood, Joey McIntyre and Jordan Knight in 1994.

Jonathan Knight in 1990.
Stress and anxiety “built up” in the singer, seen here in 1990.
Getty Images

The group officially disbanded a few weeks later but ultimately reunited in 2008.

Jonathan said on the podcast that he was “living [his] life” and not “hiding” his sexuality in 2009 when he was publicly outed by an ex-boyfriend.

Donnie Wahlberg, Joey McIntyre, Danny Wood, Jonathan Knight and Jordan Knight posing together.
Knight was outed in 2009.

“That whole process was horrible,” the real estate developer recalled of the headlines.

Jonathan had been dating Harley Rodriguez for one year at the time, and the longtime couple got engaged in 2016 while vacationing in Africa.

Jonathan Knight and Harley Rodriguez sitting together on a chair.
He is now married to Harley Rodriguez.

“With two guys, it’s always hard,” he told Jenny McCarthy of the proposal at the time. “Like who proposes? Who asks?

“I think that was our problem. I’ve been waiting for him to ask, he’s probably been waiting for me to ask.”

In August 2022, Jonathan revealed that he and Rodriguez, 49, had secretly tied the knot during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The “Amazing Race” alums spent five years trying to start a family, with Jonathan telling Bass, 43, on Monday that “it just didn’t happen” for them.

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