Style & ShowbizShowbiz

George Michael's friends' fears

ShowbizBy Sunday World
George Michael's friends' fears

George Michael's friends warned him to "get help or die" before he sought treatment at a Swiss rehab facility.

The 'Careless Whisper' hitmaker is reportedly being treated at the Kusnacht Practice in Zollikon, near Zurich and though one of his friends admitted the star is "not well", he refused to confirm claims the 51-year-old singer was smoking up to 25 cannabis joints a day before he began visiting the clinic.

His pal Jake Panayiotou told The Sun newspaper: "He's not well. I can't say any more but we're just wishing for him to get better."

Another friend added: "Everyone has been very worried about George. The advice has been very clear, 'You need to seek help or die'.

"Nobody knows the extent of his issues or what is going on behind closed doors, but anyone close to him just wants to know he's seeking professional help and not going through this on his own."

A spokesperson for the singer insisted George - who was pictured having a drink with friends in a Zurich restaurant earlier this week - is not a rehab in-patient but had visited the clinic as part of an "extended break".

She added: "Contrary to some reports George has not just entered rehab but is spending time in Europe.

"He is well and enjoying an extended break, as the recent photographs in a national newspaper clearly illustrate."

In March last year, George said he had not used cannabis for "well over a year-and-a-half".

The 'Faith' hitmaker said a series of health scares and trouble with the law had convinced him to quit using the drug.

He shared: "I decided to change my life and I haven't touched it."

George was handed an eight-week prison sentence in 2010 after crashing his car into a photographic shop in London while under the influence of drugs, and he said it marked a turning point in his life.

He reflected: "Jail wasn't great. I just thought, 'Get your head down and get on with it'. It turned out to be easier than I was expecting because I knew I deserved to be there."