Fomer Babyshambles drummer GEMMA CLARKE has downplayed Pete Doherty's wildman reputation, insisting he nursed her back to health when she fell ill with influenza.

Drug addict Doherty's wayward behaviour has dominated newspaper pages in recent months, but Clarke has rubbished the media's portrayal of him as a violent criminal.

She says, "It's not as bad as the press make out. The majority of Peter is this little lost boy. He's very thoughtful. I had flu on our first tour, and Peter was always bringing me honey and tea and fussing over me like a nurse.

"On my birthday he arranged to have a big cake come on stage with the band singing HAPPY BIRTHDAY to me. He's a sweet guy."

04/05/2005 21:16