The Sun today publishes an embarrassed apology to Take That's former manager Nigel Martin-Smith. It's all part of the great Robbie vs Nigel war that's been renewed by the singer's vicious song The Nineties on his new album Rudebox.
In the song, Williams details how he fantasised about gouging the pop mogul's eyes out during his time with the chart-topping boy band. He sings: "Either you're a thief or you're shit, which one will you admit to? Such an evil man, I used to fantasise about taking a Stanley knife and playing around with your eyes."
Here's the Sun cut 'n' paste:
On September 4th and 14th we wrote about "The Nineties", a song written by Robbie Williams for his soon to be released album.
The first piece carried quotes from the song and quotes from Robbie himself which alleged that Nigel Martin-Smith, who used to manage Take That, either stole the profits from a European tour or incompetently failed to make any and lied to the band when they asked about it.
In fact, there is absolutely no truth in these allegations. The European tour did make money, the band were paid and the accounts were scrutinised by accountants and found to be unimpeachable.
We sincerely apologise to Nigel Martin-Smith for the distress caused by publishing these allegations and have agreed to pay him compensation.