Phil Collins has been pictured arriving to rehearse with his Genesis bandmates in a wheelchair as the ugly spat with his ex-wife Orianne Cevey rumbles on.
Earlier this week, lawyers for the star hit back after Orianne made a series of personal swipes at the musician’s personal hygiene after she was ordered to leave his Florida mansion where she has been residing with her new husband.
Collins, 69, put the drama to one side as he returned to the studio to prepare for the upcoming Genesis reunion, some 13 years after the group last hit the stage together.
Drummer Collins’ health has deteriorated in their time away from the spotlight, after sustaining nerve damage in his back from performing.
As he is now unable to play drums to his full ability, his place in the line-up is being taken by 19-year-old son Nicholas who was also seen at the rehearsal.
Phil, who is also dad to Lily, Joely, Simon and Matthew Collins, clutched a wooden walking cane in his hand as he made his entrance.
He previously told the Daily Mail, “My vertebrae have been crushing my spinal cord because of the position I drum in. It comes from years of playing. I can’t even hold the sticks properly without it being painful.”
Genesis last performed together in 2007 to mark the 40th anniversary of their formation at Charterhouse School in Surrey.
The Last Domino? tour is due to kick off in Glasgow in April 2021 before moving on cities including London, Leeds, Belfast and Glasgow.
On the other side of the pond Collins is locked in a fierce battle with his ex-wife Orianne, who he recently accused of trying to ‘extort’ him.
The row started after Orianne, 46, moved her new husband Thomas Bates, 31, into Phil’s $40million Florida mansion and refused to move out.
The Swiss jewellery designer Orianne claims she is entitled to half of the property under a ‘verbal cohabitation agreement’ with Phil.
She further angered her former husband by making a series of personal digs about him in court documents.
Orianne’s attorneys alleged that Phil, 69, was ‘usually drunk by mid morning’ and ‘incapable of having sex’ with her.
They claimed that by 2019 Phil ‘became increasingly depressed, withdrawn and abusive and, following an operation his back, increasingly addicted to anti-depressants and painkillers.’
The papers also alleged of Phil, “By 2019, he was incapable of having sex. He stopped showering, brushing his teeth and dressing properly.
“In fact he did not shower or brush his teeth from 2019 until August 2020 when he vacated the property.”
Phil was also accused of smelling so bad that he ‘became a hermit’ that ‘refused to interact personally’ with anyone.
“As a result, Orianne had no choice but to distance herself from him,” they claimed.
Lawyers for Phil hit back by describing the accusations as “a litany of demonstrably false, immaterial, impertinent, scandalous and scurrilous allegations which have nothing to do with the legal claims in this case.
“These allegations are included only to further defendants’ plan to deliberately make sensationalized and/or false allegations in an effort to extort money ,” they claimed.
They added that an allegation that Phil was ‘not mentally competent’ to defend his claim over the Florida house, was included in court documents to ”smear’ a world-renowned musician who is currently in rehearsal to return to the stage with his band Genesis once COVID passes.”
Collins’ legal team have asked the judge to strike the comments from the record.
Phil and Orianne married in 1999 and had two sons Nicholas and Matthew before splitting seven years later with a record $47million divorce settlement.
The pair later shocked fans by reconciling in 2016.
However, in August this year they separated once again after Phil found out that Orianne had married Thomas Bates.
Phil is said to have jetted off to Switzerland after making the discovery while ordering Orianne and Bates to get out his house – which the couple refused.
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