Phil Collins appeared frail as he arrived at a music studio in LA to meet his Genesis bandmate Mike Rutherford.
The legendary hitmaker, 69, emerged from a car while using a stick for assistance before his peer, 70, helped navigate him into a wheelchair on Tuesday, in a sighting that comes after the iconic hitmaker underwent multiple back surgeries, which have left him struggling to stand.
Genesis have been throwing themselves into rehearsals, ahead of their first tour in 14 years, which comes amid Phil’s ongoing drama with ex-wife Orianne Cevey, who tied the knot in a secret August wedding with her toyboy lover Thomas Bates and moved him into their Miami mansion.
The day before his weary entrance into the studio, Phil, who shares sons Nicholas, 19, and Matthew, 15, with Orianne, smiled as he rehearsed with Tony Banks and Mike, as they were pictured inside the studio.
Frail: Phil Collins appeared frail as he arrived at a music studio in LA to meet his Genesis bandmate Mike Rutherford
Phil announced his comeback tour in October 2016 after coming out of retirement. The musical icon had planned to kick off his return with five nights at London’s Royal Albert Hall with tickets for the shows selling out in 15 seconds. But following a fall on the way to the bathroom a year later, the British singer was forced to cancel.
A statement was released at the time, which read; ‘Phil suffers from “drop foot” as a result of a back operation which makes it difficult to walk.’ Since then his mobility and health problems have persisted.
Appearing extremely frail on Tuesday, he was clad in comfortable sportswear and a baseball cap as he was met with his bandmate, who helped him navigate his way into the studio.
Collins, Rutherford and Banks made up the band’s most successful and long-lasting line-up during the late 70s, 80s and early 90s. They announced they were reuniting in March. Genesis formed at Charterhouse School in Godalming, Surrey, in 1967.
A helping hand: The legendary hitmaker, 69, emerged from a car while using a stick for assistance before his peer, 70, helped navigate him into a wheelchair on Tuesday, in a sighting that comes after the iconic hitmaker underwent multiple back surgeries, which have left him struggling to stand
Gently does it: Appearing extremely frail on Tuesday, he was clad in comfortable sportswear and a baseball cap as he was met with his bandmate, who helped him navigate his way into the studio
They are one of the world’s best-selling groups, having sold more than 100 million records.
They also scored 21 UK Top 40 hits and six Number One albums, and released their last compilation back in 1997. Genesis last performed together in 2007, to mark their 40th anniversary. Phil has previously said he wouldn’t be able to drum for the band should they decide to reunite, insisting his son Nic would have to play in his place.
He told Rolling Stone: ‘I’m saying this to you… I haven’t really said it to Tony and Mike did mention to Tony very quietly if we did anything again it would be with Nic on drums. He kind of didn’t say no. But I’m not sure if he heard me or not.’
Assisting: Genesis have been throwing themselves into rehearsals, ahead of their first tour in 14 years
A tribute: Despite their troubles, the background on Phil’s phone seemed to show a picture with Orianne and their sons
The sighting of Phil comes nearly a week after Orianne accused him of spying on her by setting up hidden cameras in her bathroom and changing room, in explosive new court documents from their bitter legal battle that got underway at a Florida courtroom last Tuesday.
Orianne alleges the rock legend fabricated a ‘shameful story’ in his lawsuit to have her removed from his Miami Beach mansion, where she is living with her new toyboy husband.
The 46-year-old jewellery designer also calls Collins ‘callous’ for pushing her to live in her Las Vegas home, as she says that would take her son from another marriage away from his father who lives locally.
It is the latest blistering salvo in the new chapter of the British drummer’s headline-grabbing on-off relationship with Orianne. After a 12-year marriage and two sons, the pair divorced in 2008 with a record $47m settlement.
They surprised the world when they announced in 2016 they were back together and living in Collins’ $33 million waterfront mansion in Miami. Earlier this month it emerged they had again split, after the star found out she had married struggling musician Thomas Bates, 30, in Las Vegas, while he was in Europe.
As he sued to have them removed, the In the Air Tonight singer claimed the pair are ‘trespassers’ and have taken over the home with armed guards ‘through a show of force’.
The couple hit back through their legal team and, in a newly revealed response, called the lawsuit ‘nothing more than a retaliation’ to the new marriage and a ‘shameful story’ that he has ‘fabricated’.
Rocking on: The day before his weary entrance into the studio, Phil, who shares sons Nicholas, 19, and Matthew, 15, with Orianne, smiled as he rehearsed with Tony Banks and Mike, as they were pictured inside the studio
Sticking around: He clutched a walking stick before easing into the seat
They accused him of trying to ‘strip them of all their belongings, excepting only the clothes on their backs as they are dragged out of their home.’
In a court hearing on Tuesday, Collins’ attorneys mocked Xever’s for claiming she has a 50 percent interest in the home, which was purchased through an LLC said to be owned solely by Collins.
He recently listed it for sale at $40 million and alleges she has stopped a realtor from trying to sell it.
Close: In 2015, the couple famously decided to give their romance another go – and all seemed to be well but they never remarried
But, in an affidavit, she alleges that, ‘Mr Collins and I selected and purchased the Family Home to live in as a family’ in 2015. Even after we were divorced, Mr Collins and I always remained close,’ she reveals.
‘Mr Collins and I decided to give our romantic relationship another chance, especially because it was critical to the children’s well-being and important to us that the children be raised by two parents.’
She adds they chose a home that would be near to the father of her youngest son, whom she shares custody with ex-husband Charles Mejjati, and is referred to in the docs as ‘A.A’.
‘We selected the furniture together, among other things, to make the Family Home ours, and Mr Collins, and I, along with the children, decided to name the home Fil D’or,’ she says.
The affidavit adds that she moved in her personal possessions from Switzerland, worth $10 million, and opened a joint bank account.
Cevey and Bates married on August 2nd in Las Vegas. The affidavit says the former Genesis musician left the Miami Beach home ‘in August… on his own volition’ and left behind ‘some private possessions’.
Easing in: He was assisted before heading into the building
Help me out: Phil distanced himself from his legal woes for the day to focus on work
He came back to take some of his belongings in late August, before leaving again, according to the documents. The filings include a personal text message, said to be from Collins, saying he would only be back again in January, despite claims from his legal team that he was looking to return for Christmas.
The message ends with: ‘I’ve told the boys and they’re ok and understand. Hope you do too. P x.’ In his lawsuit to have her removed, Collins accused her of covering up security cameras in the house to prevent him from seeing into his home.
However, Cevey claims in a dramatic turn that the cameras she covered had been installed secretly to spy on her. ‘I discovered approximately twenty hidden cameras throughout the Family Home, including in my personal bathroom and changing room,’ she says in the affidavit.
‘These cameras were installed without my knowledge or consent. I covered these cameras with band-aids in order to preserve my privacy and the privacy of my children in the Family Home. I was greatly disturbed and outraged that Mr Collins apparently requested that hidden cameras be installed in these rooms.’
Icons: The music legend smiled as he rehearsed with Tony Banks (centre) and Mike (left) on Monday
Seating: The attentive duo helped get him into the seat properly
In another filing, her legal team accuse Collins of trying to ‘spy on (Cevey) during her most private moments.’
They also claim he has ‘fabricated a tale of an “armed takeover” by Orianne’ at the house, saying the security team she is using is the same the pair have had for five years.
In fact, she claims that a ‘long time guard’ was spying on her for Collins and ‘relaying personal and private information about me’ to him after he left the home. The man was fired, according to the documents.
In a more touching passage, Orianne tells how during the latest stint in their relationship Collins raised A.A. as if he was his own. She adds: ‘Despite the status of our relationship and the recent actions he has taken… Mr Collins and I have children together and I still consider him an important part of my and their lives.’
But a filing from her legal team says: ‘Uprooting A.A. from the Home would severely disrupt his life and sense of stability and would severely burden the shared-custody and parenting plan in place.’
Hey there: He flashed a warm smile as he arrived
They add that the suggestion to move to Las Vegas ‘only highlights the improper nature of this entire lawsuit, and Mr Collins’ true motive – to harass and demean Orianne, while hurting the children at the same time.’
As part of her reasons to remain, the documents also say that she suffers from a ‘debilitating neurological condition’ requiring daily physical therapy with equipment in the home, including its swimming pool.
While Orianne’s affidavit runs for six pages, new husband Thomas Bates’ is only one page long.
In it he claims he has only been living with her in the house since September 14, despite confirming they were married over a month earlier. He also says Collins left for Switzerland on August 28th.
He adds: ‘Mr. Collins left a number of his personal belongings in the Family Home, even though he could have taken them with him. I also will not do anything to damage or dispose of any of Mr. Collins’ personal belongings…
Shocking: At the last hearing, Collins’ team accused Orianne of stalling, saying she was going through ‘lawyer number three, story number four’
‘At no time did Mr. Collins express any concern to me or Orianne in my presence about either of us damaging his personal belongings.’
The fillings also detail that Orianne split with her two original lawyers earlier this week over ‘irreconcilable difference’.
At the last hearing, Collins’ team accused Orianne of stalling, saying she was going through ‘lawyer number three, story number four.’ In their original filings, Collins’ legal team had accused Orianne of taking over the house and demanding a ‘preposterous amount of money’ to leave it.
They alleged that if he did not comply, her intention would be to ‘file a baseless suit full of false information which would then undoubtedly be provided to the media to embarrass and defame Phil.’
Shock: At a hearing earlier this week, the parties agreed to remove any disputed items in the mansion while the case is heard, including personal possessions Collins labelled ‘irreplaceable’, such as unpublished music and his collection of Alamo memorabilia
At a hearing earlier this week, the parties agreed to remove any disputed items in the mansion while the case is heard, including personal possessions Collins labelled ‘irreplaceable’, such as unpublished music and his collection of Alamo memorabilia.
On the back of Orianne’s claim of an ownership interest in the house, a Miami judge decided the case should be heard at a different court, indicating that the new couple will continue to reside in the house for now.
Collins’ team angrily accused them of using ‘gamesmanship’ to stay in the home. A new hearing would be expedited, the judge said, but has yet to be scheduled.