The grief of losing his best friend turned Frankie Cocozza into an alcoholic.
The X Factor star from Woodingdean, who’s now the singer with band The Telescreen (right), gave an interview to the magazine about the death of Connor Saunders, 19, after he was involved in a fight in Rottingdean in 2012.
He told Closer magazine: “I can’t even explain how that felt – to have my best mate taken away, ” “There’s no pain in the world like it. I miss talking to Connor.
“I’ll never have that connection with anyone else because I’d known him since we were little kids.
"He was the nicest geezer, he didn’t do drugs and he had goals.”
And 21-year-old Frankie confessed: “I turned into a bit of an alcoholic. I went out every night for four months and I spent a fortune – over £20,000. Then one day I just snapped out of it.
"I’d become this fat alcoholic and realised I was wasting my life. That’s the last thing Connor would have wanted. His family kept me strong too.”
But, he says, he’s still angry that no one has been convicted over Connor’s death. “It’s such an injustice: my best mate died, his family lost their son and no one’s been punished for it. It’s devastating. I still think about it all the time. It’s just so unfair that it happened to the guy that loved life the most.”
He reckons Connor would be “buzzing” about The Telescreen.
But now Frankie’s facing another trauma: after living with his 21-year-old girlfriend Leah Hudson, he’s just moved out. “It’s falling apart. I don’t even know why – maybe she needs time or space – but I don’t and I’m devastated.
"She’s still The One. Hopefully, I’ll still marry her one day. I can’t imagine not being with her.”