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Dale Winton was apparently plunged into a deep depression after a much-younger boyfriend ‘used’ him to meet Elton John and then unceremoniously dumped him.
According to neighbours near Dale’s £680,000 pad in Sarasota, Florida, the TV star fell hard for the hairdresser who was 20 years his junior, and was heartbroken when it suddenly ended.
"Dale took a real big hit when he was dating some younger guy that he really cared for. He would do anything in the world for him," next-door neighbour Mark Collins, 69, told The Sun .
"The guy said that he wanted to meet Elton John, so Dale arranged a meeting. He flew the guy to London and they had lunch with Elton. When they came back he kind of dumped him. He just said ‘goodbye Dale’. Dale went into a tailspin on that one. That was a couple of years ago. He was really upset."
And fellow local resident John Grant, 60, said that having gone from ‘lighting up the street’ with his cheery smile, within just a short space of time, Dale’s health and appearance dramatically deteriorated.
"The depression over the split was going on for years. Dale said it took everything out of him. He must have been heavily in love with this person," he said, revealing the star even lost the will to carry on renovating his house.
Adding to his fragile mental state, John said the TV host took best friend Cilla Black’s 2015 death ‘badly’ and speculated that he avoided the funeral because he didn’t want people to his changed appearance.
Poor Dale admitted that he’d had his heart torn out during a brutal break-up in 2016.
"I had a very bad year. I should have taken myself off the TV but I didn’t," he told the Loose Women in June 2016.
"I did not want to put one foot in front of the other outside the house. I would not leave the house.
"Five years I went through it. I wanted to withdraw… If you’ve never had it, you’ll never understand it," he said.
And revealing the last words he shared with Dale were ‘I love you’, John believes a relationship with ‘someone special’ could have fixed the star’s heart.
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