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The BBC's Catherine Marston at the High Court
"His accountancy firm had advised him to try to reduce his personal spending"
 real 56k

Friday, 17 November, 2000, 00:21 GMT
Sir Elton 'betrayed' by ex-lover
Sir Elton John
Sir Elton arriving at court on Thursday
Pop superstar Sir Elton John has told the High Court his former lover and manager John Reid betrayed him over touring costs.

The singer told the High Court in London that Reid, his lover for five years in the 70s and his business manager for 26 years, had been "caught with his hands in the till".


I thought he would kill for me in any circumstances

Sir Elton John

The performer is suing Andrew Haydon, 45, former managing director of John Reid Enterprises (JREL), his management company for many years.

Sir Elton alleges Mr Haydon was negligent in allowing JREL to charge him "several millions" in overseas tour expenses - including booking agents, accountants and producers.

He says the cost should have been borne by JREL under a management agreement.

He also accuses City accountancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers - formerly Price Waterhouse - of negligence in managing his affairs.

He has already accepted 3.4m from his former business manager John Reid in settlement of his claims against him.

Sir Elton, in the witness box for the second day, sat just a few yards from Mr Reid as he gave evidence.

The star said he had a "perfectly clear" recollection of an occasion in 1984 in St Tropez when he and Mr Reid finally sorted out their management agreement after a lengthy period of "haggling".

Part of that agreement, he insisted, was that JREL should bear touring costs.

Tour accounts

The singer said: "I never thought he would betray me, but he has betrayed me. I thought he would kill for me in any circumstances.

"I'm not saying he did it deliberately, I'm saying that money does very strange things to people."

Earlier, Sir Elton was cross-examined by Andrew Fletcher, counsel for Mr Haydon, about his tour accounts.

Sir Elton said he was not in the least interested in seeing tour accounts: "I am interested in what I am doing the next day.

"If you trust someone implicitly as I did Mr Reid and his organisation, including Mr Haydon, I expected these things to be taken care of on my behalf because of the generous deal he was getting."

He said if he had seen tour accounts for his 1984 north American tour he would have been "extremely surprised and angry" to see these costs had been borne by his own companies.


There was so much money coming in I decided I could live a lavish lifestyle

Sir Elton John

Sir Elton agreed that his advisers had repeatedly asked him to limit his expenditure.

Asked if he agreed he did not follow the advice, he said: "It was my money. I was going to spend it however I wanted to - so yes."

Sir Elton added: "There was so much money coming in I decided I could live a lavish lifestyle.

"I am not a nest-egg person."

Both Mr Haydon and PricewaterhouseCoopers contest the allegations against them.

The hearing, which began at the end of last month, is expected to last about eight weeks.

Sir Elton is expected to be in court on Friday for the last day of his testimony.

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See also:

01 Nov 00 | Entertainment
Sir Elton aid denies negligence
30 Oct 00 | Entertainment
Sir Elton sues 'trusted advisers'
30 Oct 00 | Entertainment
Sir Elton: Man of means
16 Nov 00 | UK
How to spend 40m
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