Elton John says he is "deeply distressed" over the criticism of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's use of his private jet.
The “Rocket Man” singer is coming forward to defend the royals, who are close friends of his, saying they used the plane to visit him for three days at his $18 million hilltop villa on the French Riviera.
Headlines called it their “fourth gas-guzzling trip in 11 days.”
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are being called hypocrites after speaking out about environmental issues, then using various private jets for trips around Europe over the last few weeks, including a trip to Ibiza to celebrate Meghan's 38th birthday.
Now John is striking back.
“I am deeply distressed by today's distorted and malicious account in the press surrounding the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s private stay at my home in Nice last week,” he said in a statement.
“Prince Harry’s mother, Diana, Princess of Wales, was one of my dearest friends. I feel a profound sense of obligation to protect Harry and his family from the unnecessary press intrusion that contributed to Diana’s untimely death,” he continued.
John famously reworked his hit "Candle in the Wind" and performed it at Diana's 1997 funeral.
“I wanted the young family to have a private holiday inside the safety and tranquility of our home. To maintain a high level of much-needed protection, we provided them with a private jet flight. To support Prince Harry's commitment to the environment, we ensured their flight was carbon-neutral, by making the appropriate contribution to Carbon Footprint,” the singer said.
He added that he hopes the negative coverage, which he calls “relentless and untrue assassinations on their character that are spuriously crafted on an almost daily basis,” comes to an end.