Not the physical act, but the London store of that name he and Vivienne Westwood opened in the 70s. His partner says he was possibly exposed to asbestos while demolishing the ceiling. Which could have caused his deadly cancer.
McLaren died in a Swiss clinic last week, aged 64, of mesothelioma — a lung cancer commonly associated with exposure to asbestos. His partner of 12 years, Young Kim, told British newspaper the Independent on Sunday that creating the punk aesthetic in the King's Road store that launched him, Westwood and the Sex Pistols may have been to blame.
When Malcolm created Sex he broke open the ceiling to make it look like a bomb had hit it", said Kim. "I always suspected that shop because it was the only place Malcolm ever really spent any serious length of time in, and there was a lot of construction and changing things. Then Ben Westwood said his mother had mentioned that she'd seen asbestos there. It was board asbestos and it was in the early Seventies so there was a lot of it left, and I don't think anyone really did anything about it.
He was officially diagnosed with lung cancer last October, although signs emerged in 2008. His last words, report the Daily Mail, were "free Leonard Peltier." Peltier, now 65, was a campaigner for American Indian rights in the 70s. He is currently in jail in Pennsylvania for killing two FBI agents in 1975. The FBI is accused of intimidating witnesses and withholding ballistics reports that might have cleared him. We can now add McLaren to the list of unlikely figures who have combined to back Peltier. What else would unite the Dalai Lama, Mikhail Gorbachev, Pope John Paul II and Malcolm McLaren?