George Michael shuts down fans chat room
Blaming the media and disparaging comments by so-called fans, singer George Michael has shut down the chat section of his web site.
Website users had accused of him of being old and overweight and failing to promote his latest album, Patience.
The pop star, 41, said it was "sad" to see the forum "packed full of negative comment", saying he wanted nothing to do with the "bitching" on the site.
In a farewell message on the site, Michael said: "As many of you will know, much of my reasoning for the future is to stay away from the negativity of the media.
"I think that it is bad for me and for music in general, so I find it really sad to see the forums so packed full of negative comment, and that so many genuinely positive fans find themselves defending me...constantly against attack. How pointless."
"Those of you that want to carry on the media's work will have to do it somewhere else."
He said he "felt bad" for genuine fans who had supported him in the forums, but signed off saying: "Sorry guys, but that's the way it goes... Peace and Love... or nothing at all."
After hearing of the closure, disappointed fans said they feared the move would only create more negative publicity for the singer.
One fan said: "It smacks of someone unhappy we're not all heaping praise on him at every turn and that's sad.
Another said the decision was "ludicrous", posting a message saying: "It's a fans' forum, it's freedom of speech and I don't think it's down to George to take his ball home and say 'I'm not playing any more.'"
George Michael said the forum would remain open for two weeks to enable fans who had built up friendships online to arrange other ways to stay in touch.
As the man himself said: “it's peace and love or nothing at all.”
The rest of the website remains open.
Sources: BBC Online, The Register
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