David Bowie’s 2016 death left his wife Iman feeling exposed. Nearly seven years later, the model and actress tells Vogue that she still refuses to describe him as her “late” spouse.

The public reaction was simply “too much,” Iman said. “We lived a very private life and suddenly it felt like there was a target on mine and my daughter’s head. It got to the point where we had to leave our home because the public were always at the front door – which I admire. I get it, but there was a point where it was like, ‘OK, go home now.’

“You had people who would take your picture, sell it and then come to you and say, ‘I feel your pain,’” Iman said, “and I’m like, ‘No, bitch, you don’t feel my pain. Get away from me.’”

The couple married in Switzerland in 1992, before two witnesses and an interpreter. The event was so low-key that the media didn’t find out about it until more than a week later.

She now insists that “he is not my late husband. He is my husband.” Iman went on to say that she had no problem with being described as “David Bowie’s wife,” but “I always remind people that I existed before I met him, and he was also very particular. He never introduced me by saying, ‘Meet my wife.’ He’d always say, ‘Meet Iman, my wife.’ So we both already had our own identity. We were separate together.”

Over the years, Iman has consistently rejected the notion of being “strong” about her loss. “I am just trying to keep it together,” she said in 2018. “I do feel very lonely, but do I want a relationship? I can’t say never, but no – not now.”

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