Phil Collins and Ex-Wife Orianne Clarify Relationship Status: 'Together We Make One Person'

"Together we make one person," Collins joked to PEOPLE

Orianne Bates and Phil Collins. Photo: Aaron Davidson/Getty

Phil Collins and ex-wife Orianne Collins-Mejjati have been through a lot together, including a record-setting public divorce and mutual health struggles, but it would appear that rather than tearing them apart, these life hurdles have actually brought the couple back together.

Speaking to PEOPLE on Friday at a press conference for their Little Dreams Foundation, which was established in 2000 to fulfill the dreams of young talents who don’t have the financial means to achieve their goals, Collins said of his third wife, “Yes, we are back together!”

“It wasn’t something we wanted to make a song and dance about,” he adds of their under-the-radar reconciliation. “But obviously when you have children, there’s two ways you can go. You can go the nasty way or you can go the nice way, and we always went the nice way … and we realized we missed each other.”

As to recent reports that Orianne said the couple, who split in 2008, will walk down the aisle again, the rock legend says that story is untrue. “Orianne did an interview in Switzerland and that got back translated from German,” he explains. “She didn’t actually say it.”

Orianne, who is a successful jewelry designer, goes on to clarify the situation. “I said, ‘You never know what the future is going to hold.’ I never said, ‘Yeah, we are going to get married.’ It was a mistranslation.”

Romance lovers shouldn’t lose hope just yet, though. “It’s not impossible, it just hasn’t been discussed,” adds the former Genesis drummer. “We are still enjoying living in a house together and changing light bulbs.”

Orianne agrees: “We are back together, we are very happy and time will tell as far as the future – who knows?”

Two people who couldn’t be happier about the couple’s reconciliation are their sons, Nicholas, 14, and Matthew, 11.

“The kids are over the moon,” says Collins, while Orianne adds, “Matthew was saying it was his wish for his birthday. He was born on the first of December and he said, ‘Oh, my wish came true.’ ”

One element that likely brought the duo closer together was their mutual health struggles. After a spinal operation in 2014 left Orianne partially paralyzed, Collins came to Switzerland to care for their children, at which point Orianne (who has now regained movement in her legs and walks with a cane) says her ex was, “great supporting me through months of agony.” Adding a lighthearted note to the ordeal, Collins says, “[The children] needed one of us. Now they’ve got both of us whether they like it or not.”

The musician has also faced his own health issues over the years. “Something happened to my nerves in my left arm during the Genesis reunion in 2007. I couldn’t even hold a pen,” he says. As to reports that his injury left him unable to drum, he says, “I have had various operations and … I certainly can’t play like I used to, and I keep saying I can’t play, but I am going to get a drum kit set up at home and actually practice and learn how to properly play again for pleasure.” Turning to Orianne, he jokes, “together we make one person.”

Collins’ positive outlook is good news for fans of the Grammy winner the world over. After all, “It is possible [to play the drums] I’m sure, I just have to learn how to do it.”

Related Articles