GEORGE MICHAEL was delighted to have “clicked” with Princess Diana – enjoying a cosy chat with her at a bash despite fellow guest Sly Stallone being desperate to woo her.
The gay singer believed she was infatuated with him, enjoying late-night visits to Kensington Palace and heart-to-heart calls with her.
In the second day of our serialisation of Rock: The Luckiest Man In Pop, George’s childhood friend Andros Georgiou, 50, lays bare the flirtatious relationship.
In the exclusive extract, adapted by BEN JACKSON, he also reveals the existence of a tape of a late-night chat between the singer – who he knows as Yog – and Diana.
We were invited to Elton John’s house in Windsor for a private dinner party for just 12 guests.
Princess Diana was one of the guests. Among the others were Sylvester Stallone, Richard Gere, Dawn French and her then husband Lenny Henry, as well as Elton’s boyfriend, now husband, David Furnish.
I had butterflies in my stomach but when we walked into the house Elton came running over and immediately made me feel just as welcome as Yog in his home.
Elton and I had known each other for a long time and had both had our issues with drugs, although by this time, Elton had been clean for many years.
Being the great host Elton is, he took Yog and me straight over to meet Princess Diana at the party in the early Nineties.
And, of course, right after saying “hello”, Elton excused himself to attend to his other guests. As soon as Yog moved in to kiss her on the cheek, he turned his back on me and the two moved off.
Yog was very fond of Diana and she was soft on him, maybe too much so. So there I was. Left standing there like a lemon.
It wasn’t the first time, and it certainly wasn’t going to be the last… The next thing I knew, I bumped into Sylvester Stallone.
He was staring at Yog with Diana as if to say, “Hey, you jumped the queue.” I said “Hi”, and made a joke about him being Rocky or something. The nerves were kicking back in.
Thankfully, he launched into a story about a woman he had just met in the gym — and then about all the beautiful women he had slept with, before adding Diana would be the ultimate.
Then I felt a feminine tap on my shoulder. I turned around to see the most amazing smile. It was Princess Diana saying, “Hello, and you must be Andros. Yog has told me so much about you.”
I was stunned. I couldn’t think of what to say — but I needn’t have worried. She did all the talking for both of us and all I had to do was nod until I got my bearings back.
I had her in hysterics when I told her the story of the last time Yog had gone round to Kensington Palace to have dinner with her.
The story went that, when the evening was over, she walked him to the door, he said his goodbyes and stepped out of the palace to get into his car to go home, only to find his driver and, more to the point, his car had vanished.
Too embarrassed to knock on the door again, he decided to walk out of the gates and head to the High Street to hail a cab. That was until the secret service stopped him.
Diana was laughing so much that people were looking over at us. She asked what happened and I told her that the guards were very nice to him, called him a cab and sent him on his way.
What I didn’t tell her was, that night, the taxi brought him straight to my house where he couldn’t wait to tell me how much he thought Diana was intoHIM. Even for a gay man, he was thrilled.
There was another secret I didn’t dare tell her that night, too.
It was an audio tape I still have in a safety deposit box in London. In a way, it was a gift from her that she had given to both Yog and me completely by accident.
It was 1995 and answer phone machines were relatively new. The messages were recorded on small cassette players. Sometimes, by accident, if you picked up the phone from another extension, the answering machine was left on.
One night, I was around Yog’s Hampstead house when the phone rang. It was late and, initially, we decided to let the answer phone pick it up until we heard Princess Diana’s voice, leaving a message.
I screamed at Yog to go pick it up, so he ran upstairs and grabbed the phone and started to talk with her, interrupting the recording machine — or so they thought.
The next morning it went into my lawyer’s safe, where it has been ever since.
(The call was the day before George’s birthday and the pair discuss an invitation from Elton John to see the documentary Tantrums & Tiaras, plus Diana’s thoughts on her impending divorce.)
I couldn’t help think of it while I was talking to her. I felt such a sense of guilt. I might have even told her about the tape but then fate took a different path. As Princess Diana and I were talking, in one corner of my eye, I saw Richard Gere marching over to Sylvester Stallone.
He had just arrived and believed Sly had been coming on to his wife Cindy Crawford.
Elton began rushing around trying to get people into the next room and not having any luck getting anyone to move.
The other guests actually said, “Elton you must be joking.”
“The Officer and a Gentleman” getting into it with “Rocky”.
Elton was most worried sick about Diana, praying she would not be offended — but I was standing right next to her when most of this was going on, and it looked as if she was getting as much a kick out of it as anybody else.
Richard Gere just launched into one at Stallone. Richard just kept poking Stallone on the chest and Stallone was getting very angry.
At one point, I thought for sure they were going to hit each other. Then suddenly it all calmed down as quickly as it went off.
When we all sat down to dinner, Stallone got part of his wish. He ended up spending quite a long time flirting outrageously with Diana — and she was loving all the attention. But, right after dinner, he came over to me again to say goodnight.
It was certainly not the end of the evening but he was leaving. He had lost his moment, as he put it, and pointed to the couch. Richard Gere had Princess Diana sitting at his feet with her legs crossed while he sat on the sofa.
As a joke, Stallone moaned that if he was a real gentleman, he would have given up his chair for her — and with that, he left.
George and I were smoking a lot at that stage and I took the opportunity to slip outside to smoke a joint.
Yog came out to join me and we were there a while when Diana appeared, followed by Elton, who had his Bentley backed up to the doorway. He wanted to play us some new songs he had recorded and he wanted us all to share in his “car test”.
So Yog and I, trying to cover the fact we were stoned, were sitting in a Bentley with Princess Diana and Elton John, listening to Elton’s latest album.
The next time I see Elton, hoping he’s read at least this part of my book, I’m going to ask him. “Did Diana and he know or even suspect what we had been doing?”
But then, the night was over. All I remember is the two of us speeding back down to Yog’s house, discussing all the experiences that came our way. It was an absolutely surreal time, to say the least.