Rod Stewart's manager has hit back at reports the rocker verbally attacked pop pals Sting and SIR ELTON JOHN - insisting he was only joking.

Rod was quoted in the world's press this week (ends31OCT03) mocking Elton's hair and weight and dubbing the gay singer 'SHARON'. He also attacked earnest Sting, saying, "The sun shines out of his a**e, a pure jazz musician. Mr Serious, who helps the Indians."

However, Stewart's manager Arnold Stiefel explains the trio are old chums, and always tease each other.

He tells American website PAGE SIX, "Rod calls Elton SHARON and makes fun of his hair, but Elton calls Rod PHYLLIS and makes fun of his nose."

And concerning Sting, Stiefel reveals Stewart recently left a prank message on a jet the singer was chartering, and then, "In return, Sting padlocked the gates on his house so he couldn't get out."

30/10/2003 13:27