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George Michael
vs. Elton John: Round 2

George Michael
vs. Elton John: Round 2

British pop star George Michael has reignited his feud with Elton John, saying recent harsh media treatment of his personal life started when John made adverse comments about his state of mind. British tabloid the Daily Mirror printed the headline: "Drugs Could Kill George Michael" after the 42-year-old was arrested in February for possessing illegal drugs.

"The trajectory of my particular soap opera [with the press] launched from that statement Elton made about 18 months ago when Elton hadn't seen me for years," Michael told ITV host Michael Parkinson. "Elton said he thought I was really miserable for some reason. From that point on I've been trying to prove that I'm not. Unfortunately, it made me incredibly vulnerable to the press."

In December 2004, John said Michael appeared to be in a "strange place," wasting his talent by staying at home and shunning the limelight. "The subtext to it is, 'Well, he was all right before he came out, and now he lives this depraved gay life, and he's miserable and fat,' " Michael said, adding that he feels fine.

Michael ended years of speculation about his sexuality by announcing he was gay after he was arrested in 1998 for engaging in a "lewd act" in a public toilet in Beverly Hills, Calif. John, 59, was one of the first to take advantage of a change in British legislation last December allowing civil unions. Michael, the former front man for Wham! said he planned to legally register his partnership with Kenny Goss when the couple reach their 10th anniversary later this year and was planning his first tour in 15 years for later in 2006.

"I haven't felt this good since I was a lot younger," he told ITV television in an interview to be broadcast on Saturday evening. A transcript was made available on Friday. Michael has sold more than 80 million records and performed hits such as "Careless Whisper," "Last Christmas," and "Faith." "It's...a strange frustration to have to keep looking at this parallel life, this Fleet Street life," he added, referring to the London street where major newspapers used to be based. (Mike Collett-White, Reuters)

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