CMU Daily - on the inside Thursday 28th June
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- Spice Girls reunion to be announced today
- Damn statistics: Spector trial update
- Slash vows to keep smoking on stage despite new UK rules
- Elton John wins long running sculpture case
- Boy band mogul formally indicted
- BET award winners
- Verve to record new album
- Weezer back in the studio
- Depeche Mode man releases solo album
- Morrissey cuts short gig with sore throat
- The Used cancel summer dates
- London Calling kicks off today
- Interscope enter drinks business
- MySpace to launch web TV service
- Universal sign video deal with Roo
- BBC iPlayer to launch next month
- US house committee to discuss web royalties
- Winehouse self-harms during interview
- Usher's fiancée expecting
- Timberlake wants Coldplay collaboration
- Preston and Chantelle split

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TOP BIT >>
A quick plug in the Top Bit today for the next edition of the CMU Recommended Xfm Remix Night, the line up for which has just been announced - hurrah! Remix chief Eddy TM will be away, it being summer time and all, but he is leaving his recent collaborator and former The Cooper Temple Clause member Rhysmix in charge as the host with the most, so a good night will still be had by all.

On the bill live set wise are Ben Westbeech and Shameless, while joining the aforementioned Rhysmix on the decks will be the one, and the only, Mr Barry Ashworth, he of the Dub Pistols. Slim Jim will also be spinning some tunes.

It'll be one of the parties of the summer (yeah, I'm biased, I know, but it really will), so you should get it in your diary. It all takes place on Friday 20 Jul at Cargo in East London from 9pm to 3am. Tickets are a tenner. Press info from Leyline.

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CLASSIFIEDS>>

INTERESTED IN SELLING YOUR RECORD LABEL?
Music Gain is acquiring catalogue and merging with record labels. If you are thinking of selling, or are interested in a merger with a long term capital partner, please contact us. Introduction and spotters fees also paid. Please visit us - http://www.musicgain.com

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JOBS N STUFF>>

PRESS OFFICER/ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE - MATERIAL
Material is seeking a Press Officer/Account Executive to work on a leading Northern Irish contemporary music event. The successful candidate will be highly efficient and organised with strong writing skills, good knowledge of music, ability to work to short deadlines and a proven ability of working on live music and/or brand projects. Knowledge of Northern Irish media also beneficial. Computer literacy, including confidence with Microsoft Office is essential. The role is temporary, from July to September, and is based in Belfast. Please send a CV with covering letter to lauras@materialmc.co.uk by Tuesday 3rd July.

REGIONAL PRESS ASSISTANT NEEDED
Chuffmedia is seeking a Junior Regional Press Assistant to help with a variety of campaigns for both high profile and brand new acts. The ideal candidate will possess good writing skills and be computer literate (mac),highly motivated and have a desire for gigging, music and an appreciation of a good tune a must. Email CV and covering letter to Warren@chuffmedia.com

SENIOR ACCOUNT MANAGER
London based boutique PR agency specialising in music, events and youth lifestyle is looking for an experienced PR to work on exciting branded music campaigns. You will need to have: excellent contacts in music, consumer and national newspapers; strong presentation skills and the ability to create stunning PowerPoint presentations/excel documents; great organisational skills and time keeping; and the confidence to deal with corporate clients. We are a small team so it is important that you're motivated and enthusiastic. Travel is also part of the job - you will need to be attend evening gigs and festivals. Competitive salary. Please send CVs and examples of written work and PowerPoint to Rhiannon@spring-pr.com

Advertise your vacancies in the CMU Daily for just £80 for five days. To book your space email ads@unlimitedmedia.co.uk.

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MYSPACE OF THE DAY: MOTHER AND THE ADDICTS

Oh, I like these guys, and I'm making them MSOTD today because they have a new album out this summer, and there's a nice little counter counting down to release day here on their MySpace. Actually, I was really prompted to make them MSOTD today because I just got a press release telling me that their new single 'Watch The Lines'/'Are Others' is out on 6 Aug on Chemikal Underground, and that prompted me to go check the MySpace page. Sound wise, well, they go with 'Alternative / Garage / Other' on their page, which kind of tells you nothing. I'd go with 'funky / quirky / geetars', but I'm not sure that tells you much more. A Glasgow five piece, MATM first came to our attention with debut long player 'Take The Lovers Home Tonight' back in 2005. Most of the tracks streaming here are from that album, though there is an especially quirky fourth track which is a reworking of the Robert Burns poem which was made for a Radio 1 Burns Night special earlier in the year. Presumably some of the newer tracks will be previewing in time. So go see, and then keep an eye on the Space.

http://www.myspace.com/motherandtheaddicts

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SPICE GIRLS REUNION TO BE ANNOUNCED TODAY
So, everyone seems to think that the Spice Girls will actually announce that long rumoured reunion tour today. All five of da Girls - Victoria Beckham, Melanie Brown, Melanie Chisholm, Geri Halliwell and a presumably very pregnant Emma Bunton - are due at a press conference in London today in what will be the first time all five members of the group have appeared together in public since Geri Halliwell's departure from the group way back in 1998.

Rumours remain that the reunion tour will coincide with a greatest hits release, while gossipers say the tour will take in London, Tokyo and Las Vegas. Simon Fuller's 19 Entertainment, responsible for making the Spice Girls famous but then famously sacked by the group in 1997, will spearhead the reunion.

Elsewhere in Spice Girls gossip, there are rumours that state of the art technology will be used on the reunion tour to enhance the Girls' voices which, with perhaps one or two exceptions, were never that great. The gossipers say that while the group won't actually lip synch, pre-recorded live versions of their songs will be held on a computer, which is then able to correct any bum notes delivered on the night. Personally I'm not sure I believe these stories - a Spice Girls spokesperson has denied them - and besides, I'm not sure anyone going to a Spice Girls gig is expecting harmonious melodies. Providing they're loud, brash and wear at least one outrageous costume I doubt anyone will notice the vocals.

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DAMN STATISTICS: SPECTOR TRIAL UPDATE
It seems that prosecutor Alan Jackson doesn't have much time for "statistics". Or at least that was his position as he questioned forensics expert Dr Vincent DiMaio in the continuing Phil Spector murder trial yesterday.

As you'll all remember, DiMaio said earlier this week that given the facts of the case, he was 99% certain that actress Lana Clarkson shot herself at Spector's Beverly Hills castle on 3 Feb 2003. Being questioned by the defence, he said: "She's got blood on her hands, she's got gunshot residue - that's 99 percent suicide. When you stick to the scientific evidence, it's suicide".

But Jackson, keen to dismiss any forensic testimonies that back up the defence's claims of suicide, yesterday argued that DiMaio had only considered the basic facts of this specific case, and then applied generic statistics to those facts. Unlike the prosecution's forensic witnesses who had spent much time analysing photos and items from the crime scene.

Despite Jackson being much more forceful in his questioning now that he's in the cross examination role, DiMaio stood his ground, arguing that statistics were science too, and that just because someone's opinion was based on statistics that opinion couldn't be dismissed, providing the stats were sound.

Jackson also argued that, as a forensics expert hired by the defence, DiMaio had been biased from the start, and was looking for forensic stats that got Spector off rather than specific forensic evidence that explained what happened at the legendary producer's home that night. DiMaio, Jackson argued, had ignored other forensic facts that had been presented by experts on the prosecution's side and which suggested a struggle before the gun that killed Clarkson went off.

But DiMaio provided explanations for the "forensic facts" that Jackson alluded to that didn't lead to the conclusion that Spector shot Clarkson. First there was the issue of bruising on the tongue, which the prosecution said suggested the gun had been forced into Clarkson's mouth. But, DiMaio argued, it was just as likely that those bruises were caused by the impact of the gun going off, and "gases" released by the shot. Second, the claims that Spector had moved Clarkson's body after she had been killed, perhaps suggesting some involvement in her killing. But, DiMaio said, while there may be evidence that Clarkson's body moved after her death, such movement could have occurred without the help of a third party, especially with the pressure of gunshot gases. DiMaio told the court: "Common sense will tell you that the body will move".

The trial continues.

Meanwhile, the BBC has announced they have been interviewing Spector during the trial, and that that exclusive footage, the first extensive TV interview given by the reclusive producer in 35 years, will appear in a special Arena film called 'The Agony And Ecstasy Of Phil Spector' on BBC 2 in the Autumn. The film's director, Vikram Jayanti, told reporters: "He hasn't let anyone film him for a documentary in 35 years. But he doesn't treat me as a supplicant. We are talking very frankly".

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SLASH VOWS TO KEEP SMOKING ON STAGE DESPITE NEW UK RULES
Velvet Revolver guitarist Slash has said he will flaunt the smoking ban when he is playing in the UK by continuing to have his mid-set cigarette on stage.

The former Guns N Roses man was speaking to Xfm about those previously reported reports that followed a recent Velvet Revolver concert in Cardiff in which it was said that officials in the Welsh city were investigating claims that he and bandmate Scott Weiland had both smoked during the gig. Anti-smoking rules that ban smoking in any public building, including on stage at gig venues, are already in force in Wales, of course - they become law in England this weekend.

In theory both Slash and management at the venue could be fined for the on stage smoking, but the guitarist says he will still smoke during shows, and just pay the fines if he has to - though, he adds, no one has been in touch regarding the Cardiff incident.

He told the radio station: "Yeah you know what, they [the Cardiff authorities] didn't come to me. No one said a word to me about it. I heard about it [the investigation] through the newspaper and shit like that. And I was like 'Well fuck I didn't know!'. I thought it didn't start 'til the 1st. And even if I had known ... like I'm not gonna smoke during a show! So if it's gonna cost me £50 every gig. I'll just tout some tickets on the side to make up for it".

I'm no expert on these new anti-smoking rules, but presumably they can do more than fine you if you persistently break the rules. Like cut your cigarette holding fingers off, or something suitably final.

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ELTON JOHN WINS LONG RUNNING SCULPTURE CASE
Elton John has won a court case against a Parisian art dealer who he accused of selling him fake sculptures.

This is a long running dispute, stemming from a purchase the singer made way back in 1996. John bought four statues of Greek gods off art dealer Jean Renoncourt, which were signed by 18th century Italian sculptor Luigi Grossi and which set the singer back over £180,000. But when he got a British expert to value the sculptures for insurance purposes he said that he thought the sculptures were fakes, concluding that they were made of inferior marble and could have been made at sometime during the 20th century.

John promptly sued Renoncourt, who refused to refund him for the sculptures, through the French courts. In the first instance the Paris courts ruled against John, arguing that he had failed to provide the court with any evidence that the sculptures were, in fact, fake. But by the appeal hearing an analysis by French experts had concurred with John's British expert, so the court found in his favour. The singer was awarded the costs of the original sculptures, legal costs and damages of £19,000. Renoncourt will also have to arrange for the sculptures to be returned to France.

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BOY BAND MOGUL FORMALLY INDICTED
More pop litigation, and Lou Pearlman, the creator of Backstreet Boys and *Nsync, who is facing charges of defrauding over a thousand people through an elaborate pyramid scheme, was formally indicted by a federal jury yesterday, this time on charges that he defrauded a bank of $20 million by securing loans using paperwork from a fake accounting firm.

As previously reported, the former boy band mogul and MTV star recently spent some time on the run from the FBI after his latest business venture started to unravel and banks to whom he owed money began to launch bankruptcy proceedings against him.

Pearlman was arrested in Indonesia earlier this month, and was transferred into US custody and flown to the US controlled Pacific island of Guam. He was subsequently flown to LA where he was formally indicted with the federal charges. He is now expected to be taken to Florida where he faces the pyramid scheme charges.

All of which is a brilliant new MTV show in the making, I reckon.

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BET AWARD WINNERS
It was the BET Awards in America the other night - they're a bit like our MOBOs, in case you wondered (though with sports categories for some reason) - and look, here are the winners (in the music categories)...

Video Of The Year: Beyonce - Irreplaceable
Best Group: Gnarls Barkley
Best Actor: Forest Whitaker
Best Actress: Jennifer Hudson
Best Hip-Hop Artist: Ti
Best Collaboration: Ludacris F/ Mary J. Blige - Runaway Love
Best New Artist: Jennifer Hudson
BET Cool Like That: Gerald Levert
Best Gospel Artist: Kirk Franklin
Best Male R&B Artist: Ne-Yo
Best Female R&B Artist: Beyonce
Viewers Choice Award: Birdman And Lil Wayne - Stuntin' Like My Daddy

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VERVE TO RECORD NEW ALBUM
More on The Verve reunion from the band's official website: "The Verve - Richard Ashcroft, Nick McCabe, Simon Jones and Pete Salisbury - were back recording together in a London studio last week. After a summer break they will return to the studio to complete their next album". No word on whether fifth member Simon Tong, recently part of The Good, The Bad And The Queen project, will be involved in the reunion.

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WEEZER BACK IN THE STUDIO
Despite telling MTV last year that "I'm not certain we'll ever make a record again", Weezer's frontman Rivers Cuomo has now announced his band will be, erm, making a record again. And I think he's certain about this. He's written on the band's website: "Weezer is just polishing up a batch of songs for a recording session that is going to start at the beginning of July. This will be the final recording session for our 6th album which we aim to put out in the first half of 2008. We hope you are all having good times".

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DEPECHE MODE MAN RELEASES SOLO ALBUM
You know, I realised just how good Depeche Mode are, and in particular how good frontman Dave Gahan is at controlling an audience, after watching the White Stripes' lacklustre headline set at Wireless earlier this month. Jack White's command on the admittedly massive Hyde Park stage was very run of the mill compared to the mastery displayed by Gahan twelve months earlier, when he had the massive Wireless crowd in the palms of his hands. Anyway, he, that is to say, Gahan, has announced he will release his second solo album in October, a follow up to 2003's solo debut 'Paper Monsters'. It has been recorded with producer Tony Hoffer. On it Gahan says this: "We were very aware of the importance of keeping urgency in the sound and a feeling of spontaneity. We didn't want to get bogged down in trying to make everything sound perfect. You want to keep the rough edges".

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MORRISSEY CUTS SHORT GIG WITH SORE THROAT
Morrissey was forced to cancel a show in America on Tuesday night because of some kind of throat infection. He left the stage at the Boston gig after just seven songs. He had already told his audience his throat wasn't fully operational earlier on in his curtailed set. Other scheduled gigs for this week have also been postponed to let Mozza recover.

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THE USED CANCEL SUMMER DATES
Also cancelling gigs due to being a bit under the weather are US Emo types The Used, who have cancelled their upcoming summer tour because frontman Bert McCracken needs surgery to remove one of those nodes off his vocal chord. Ouch. McCracken's bandmate told fans: "The band is incredibly disappointed but we promise to return to touring in the USA in early September with headlining dates".

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ALBUM REVIEW: Robin Thicke - The Evolution of Robin Thicke (Universal/Interscope)
I've never heard of this man, but apparently 'The Evolution of...' is Thicke's second album. Not only that, but he has won a Grammy for his production work, which has been the main career focus. Brian McKnight, Usher, Mary J Blige and Michael Jackson are among the artists he's worked with, so while Robin's vocal style and R&B licks might appear imitated, there's always a chance he taught the artists he seems to be imitating their style in the first place. His vocals have a similar timbre to Justin Timberlake's: that high pitched and airy but sexy sound. The music isn't particular groundbreaking and sounds similar to most modern R&B: a combination of the artists he has produced, I suppose. The first single was 'Lost Without You' and sounds familiar so obviously has had airplay. 'Everything I Can't Have' combines a salsa vibe, some heavy brass and Latin jazz piano with his soulful vocals and stands out from the love-sick R&B. Pharrell is usually fantastic, but the co-written 'Wanna Love U Girl', is a bit of a let down and lacks the usual punch he provides. 'Shooter' has so many different styles it is quite exciting and has similar thickness to movie music. So far, not so bad. Until 'Lonely World': a track with the sickly style of 'Chicken Soup for the Soul', addressing the beauty queen, the geek and the empty nest syndrome mother in virgin Britney style. That said, Robin's beautiful voice and priceless contacts book will guarantee this as a success in the right circles. AW
Release Date: 2 Jul
Press Contact: Polydor IH [CP, RP, NP, CR, RR, NR] Hyperlaunch [O]

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LONDON CALLING KICKS OFF TODAY
Don't forget music business convention London Calling kicks off today. You'll find full info at http://www.londoncalling2007.com. Though if you're going, presumably you already know all about it!

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INTERSCOPE ENTER DRINKS BUSINESS
Universal Music's Interscope Geffen A&M division has entered into a joint venture with Drinks America to develop various drinks products around artists signed to the major. The new drinks will be manufactured by the drinks firm but co-marketed by the label, who will have a stake in the new artist based brands.

As part of the agreement, Interscope will also assist in marketing some of Drinks America's existing celebrity endorsed brands, including Donald Trump's Trump Super Premium Vodka and Willie Nelson's Old Whiskey River Bourbon and Bourbon Cream.

The new partnership is another sign of a major record company diversifying out of the traditional recorded music business and generating new revenue streams through their relationships with the artists whose music they release.

Obviously Interscope have no presumed rights to enter into product endorsement deals on behalf of their artists, and the label will have to do new deals with those artists around which a drinks brand can be developed. Presumably Interscope hope artists will work with them to develop proprietary drinks brands, rather than going direct to the drinks firm, because that way there will be greater integration between the promotion of the drink and the artist's actual music.

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MYSPACE TO LAUNCH WEB TV SERVICE
According to Media Week, MySpace will launch its own video platform, MySpacetv.com, later today. The video service will give access to programmes from content partners like National Geographic, The New York Times and Reuters, and from sister companies within Fox.

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UNIVERSAL SIGN VIDEO DEAL WITH ROO
More video on the net. Universal has announced that it will add video content to a number of its label and artist websites via a partnership with online video provider Roo. I'm not sure if the video service will be subscription based, or whether it will carry advertising, or whether it's just a promotional tool for the labels. Perhaps I'll ask.

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BBC IPLAYER TO LAUNCH NEXT MONTH
And even more video on the net. The BBC has announced that its previously reported web TV platform iPlayer will launch in beta on 27 Jul. The BBC's on-demand service, though one of the first to be muted, will launch after similar services from Channel 4 and ITV, which are already live.

The aim is to provide legitimate on-demand access to BBC programming which is currently available unofficially via YouTube or, more often, those YouTube rivals that don't have deals with the BBC regarding the upload of new programming. iPlayer will compete with the unofficial video platforms by being [a] legal, [b] higher quality and [c] more reliable (in theory at least). Though with the requirement of a new player install and limitations on when on demand programming can be viewed, the unofficial services may remain popular even after the iPlayer is live (certainly I don't use Channel 4's on demand service to access Channel 4 content, for the same reasons).

Confirming the launch of the player, the Beeb's Director Of Future Media And Technology, Ashley Highfield, told reporters: "BBC iPlayer is a free catch-up service for UK licence fee payers. Your favourite programmes from all the BBC's network TV channels will be available to download over the internet, and watch on your PC without advertising for up to a week after transmission".

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US HOUSE COMMITTEE TO DISCUSS WEB ROYALTIES
The US House Of Representatives' Small Business Committee will today open a hearing into the proposed increase in the amount of royalties internet radio stations should pay record labels.

As previously reported, the US web radio sector has been mounting a proactive campaign against a ruling made by the US Copyright Royalty Board earlier this year which will see the royalty rates in the internet radio domain rise significantly next month. That campaign, which included a Day Of Silence earlier this week during which numerous internet stations stopped broadcasting, has won support in both the House Of Representatives and Senate where proposals have been put forward that would link web radio royalties to those paid by satellite radio stations, a much more favourable deal for the webcasters.

It is those proposals that will be considered by the House's Small Business Committee in a hearing entitled "Assessing the Impact of the Copyright Royalty Board Decision to Increase Royalty Rates on Recording Artists and Webcasters". Bryan Miller of WOXY.com, Richard Eisworth of Cincinnati Public Radio and artist Joey Allcorn will all talk in favour of the proposals put forward by the House and Senate, while the record labels, who want the CRB ruling to stand, will be represented by the US's internet royalties society SoundExchange plus Tommy Boy Records' Tom Silverman, American Federation Of Musicians' Thomas F Lee and artist Cathy Fink.

It isn't clear what will happen if political debate on this issue is ongoing on 15 Jul, when the CRB's new rates are now due to kick in. But with that date approaching those supporting a change in the law to help the webcasters are urging their political colleagues to move quickly or, they claim, many smaller webcasters will go out of business.

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WINEHOUSE SELF-HARMS DURING INTERVIEW
Amy Winehouse reportedly shocked a reporter from US rock mag Spin by self-harming with a bit of broken mirror during an interview. I have to say I'd be quite shocked if that happened while I was interviewing someone. Actually, I wouldn't be shocked, I'd just be passed out on the floor. I am very squeamish. Apparently Winehouse etched "I Love Blake" - a reference to new husband Blake Fielder-Civil - into her stomach with a shard of broken mirror left over from a photoshoot. Eurgh, just that sentence is making me feel a bit queasy.

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USHER'S FIANCÉE EXPECTING
Usher has announced he and his fiancee Tameka Foster are expecting their first child together. The couple said this: "We are extremely excited at this point in our lives planning our wedding and the joy that comes with expecting our first child together. We hope people will be happy for us and respect our privacy during this happy period in our lives".

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TIMBERLAKE WANTS COLPLAY COLLABORATION
Justin Timberlake wants to collaborate with Coldplay. He's quoted as saying: "Coldplay are the modern Beatles, so I'd love to do a duet with them - especially Chris Martin". Yeah, I'll just about tolerate people calling Timberlake the new Michael Jackson, but Coldplay are not, repeat, not the modern day Beatles. Though to be fair, I don't think they themselves would ever claim to be.

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PRESTON AND CHANTELLE SPLIT
"Quelle surprise" as Preston's ex, Camille Aznar, who he dumped after meeting nobody Chantelle on Celeb Big Brother, might say. Preston and Chantelle have announced they are getting divorced just ten months after getting wed. The couple released a statement yesterday saying that they had decided to split "after much soul-searching and tearful discussions". They said: "We hope we can always remain friends and still love each other, but we both think we put so much pressure on one another to make our marriage work that it has ended up destroying our relationship. We know people will think we married too quickly on the back of 'Big Brother', but the truth is that, what anyone thinks, we did have a whirlwind romance but we were genuinely in love. We will never regret our time together. But we now both agree that we should go our separate ways. We are both young and we still have our lives in front of us". I'm guessing Chantelle didn't personally write the statement, but perhaps I'm being unfair. No, actually, I'm not.

Simon Amstell was unavailable for comment.

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