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'Sweet and friendly' but 'there's no smoke without fire'

Phil Collins has opened up about his relationship with Michael Jackson, sharing his opinions on the alleged child sex abuse claims made against him.

Collins new memoir ‘Not Dead Yet’ is released this week, and features the former Genesis turned solo icon recalling his friendship with the ‘Thriller’ star and how he trusted him with his daughter Lily Collins – but added that ‘there’s no smoke without fire’.

“He’s very sweet and friendly,” he says of Jackson. “All thoughts of the weird things I’ve heard disappear in an instant,” he admits. “I don’t bat an eyelid when he invites Lily and Jill to pal upstairs in his toy room.”

Collins adds: “Michael Jackson, though clearly not the same as us mortals, is not the weirdo we’ve been led to expect. A brilliant musician and a nice guy who’s had to live an extraordinary life from the age of 5. But, even though I have no direct knowledge of the murkier side of Michael’s life, I have to say that there’s probably no smoke without some kind of fire.”

Jackson trial for child molestation charges in 2005 when he was found not guilty. He faced similar accusations from 13-year-old Evan Chandler in 1993, who sued him for allegedly sexually abusing him, before they reached a financial settlement and a criminal investigation was dropped due to a ‘lack of evidence’.

Meanwhile, details of Collins’ feud with Paul McCartney continue to unravel – after the former Beatle attempted to make peace with Collins when slammed for his ‘bad attitude’.

Phil Collins’ upcoming tour dates are below.

London, Royal Albert Hall (June 4, 5, 7, 8, 9)
Cologne, Lanxess Arena (11, 12)
Paris, Accors Hotel Arena (18, 19)