insults close Michael's site
George Michael has shut down his website messageboard because
so-called fans had been using it to log disparaging comments
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.
users had accused of him of being old and overweight and failing
to promote his latest album, Patience.
complained about the quality of his recordings.
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.
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
He went on:
"There are plenty of places to read people slagging each
other off, but I wasn't trying to create one in opening the
of you that want to carry on the media's work will have to do it
Michael sent fans a farewell message
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."
hearing of the closure, disappointed fans said they feared the
move would only create more negative publicity for the singer.
him a "control freak" and said: "It smacks of
someone unhappy we're not all heaping praise on him at every
turn and that's sad.
people who read and contribute to these boards are fans."
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.'"
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. The rest of the website remains open.