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The story has become part of music legend

Phil Collins has spoken out on the longstanding rumour that he split up with his ex-wife Jill Tavelman via fax.

The pair were married from 1984-1986, with the rumour that the Genesis turned solo star ended their relationship by telling her via a fax machine becoming part of music folklore.

“It really hurt my career, or my public persona,” he told ABC News. “And it was based on an untruth. … So, I just thought it would be an opportunity just to lay it all out, and if I say it didn’t happen, I’m trusting that people will believe me.”

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This week sees the release of Collins’ memoirs, Not Dead Yet – in which he defends Michael Jackson against infamous claims of child sex abuse.

“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.”

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)