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June 30, 1998 12:00 AM

Elton John, 53, ended his three-day grilling in London High Court on Friday by apologizing to his former lover and manager, John Reid, whom, the musician has earlier claimed, had a criminal past. On Thursday, Sir Elton claimed on the witness stand that Reid had “swindled” him out of touring costs and, as reported by Reuters, added that this was hardly surprising, given what John called Reid’s “criminal record.” (John is currently suing Reid and an accounting firm for allegedly mismanaging his finances.) On Friday, John recanted, saying he’d been pushed to the brink by the previous day’s “badgering.” He called the remark about Reid “irresponsible” and “something I regret saying.” Despite the apology, John again mentioned a criminal past when he described for the court Reid’s having once punched a woman in the face in New Zealand and being imprisoned for it.

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