Elton recalls night Stallone and Richard Gere had fist fight over Princess Diana as George Michael looked on

23 October 2019, 10:40 | Updated: 23 October 2019, 13:00

Sylvester Stallone, Princess Diana and Richard Gere were all at a dinner party at Elton John's house when the incident took place.
Sylvester Stallone, Princess Diana and Richard Gere were all at a dinner party at Elton John's house when the incident took place. Picture: Getty

By Giorgina Ramazzotti

The Rocketman star revealed that Princess Diana's attention at a dinner party fuelled a jealous fist fight in the corridor between two lead Hollywood actors, Richard Gere and Sylvester Stallone.

The revelation, written about in Elton's new book Me: Elton John Official Autobiography and shared by the singer with the MailOnline, gives a fascinating insight into the attraction men felt towards Princess Diana throughout her short lifetime.

The incredible story unfolded sometime between 1992 and 1993, with a Who's Who of stars in attendance at a party including Elton John, George Michael, Hollywood actors Sylvester Stallone and Richard Gere and of course the guest of honour herself; Princess Diana.

Read more: Did Freddie Mercury really take Princess Diana to a London gay pub in the '80s?

"Over the years I knew her, she was fabulous company," Elton John recalls.

"The best dinner party guest, incredibly indiscreet, a real gossip: you could ask her anything and she'd tell you."

"But if I was bowled over by Diana, it was nothing compared with the impact she could have on straight men. They seemed completely to lose their minds in her presence: they were just utterly bewitched."

Read more: When the Queen asked to meet George Michael: Royal was Wham! fan and 'knew all their hits'

"While I was making The Lion King, Jeffrey Katzenberg, the head of Disney, came over to England. David Furnish — now my husband — and I threw a dinner party for him and his wife, and asked if there was anyone they really wanted to meet. Straight away, they said: 'Princess Diana,'" Elton says.

See: Prince Harry addresses Prince William 'feud' for first time: 'We're on different paths' - video

"So we invited her, George Michael, Richard Curtis and his wife Emma Freud, Richard Gere and Sylvester Stallone, all of whom were in the country at the time.

But it wasn't long, Elton John recalls, that a particular leading man had caught Princess Diana's eye.

"The most peculiar scene developed. Straight away, Richard Gere and Diana seemed very taken with each other.

Read more: Elton John says Disney’s Lion King remake was a 'huge disappointment'

"She was separated from Charles by this point, and Richard had broken up with Cindy Crawford. They ended up sitting in front of the fireplace together, locked in rapt conversation," he says.

"As the rest of us chatted, I couldn't help notice a strange atmosphere in the room. Judging by the kind of looks he kept shooting them, Diana and Richard Gere's newly blossoming friendship was not going down well with Sylvester Stallone at all."

"I think he may have turned up to the party with the express intention of picking Diana up, only to find his plans for the evening ruined.

"Eventually, dinner was served. We moved into the dining room and seated ourselves at the table. Or at least, most of us did. There was no sign of Richard Gere, or indeed Sylvester Stallone.

See more: Pop icons at home in rare photos: Elton, Freddie, Bowie, Rod and their outlandish houses

"I asked David to go and find them. He came back with both of them, but he was wearing a fairly ashen expression.'Elton,' he mumbled. 'We have . . . a situation.

"It transpired that he'd discovered Sylvester Stallone and Richard Gere in the corridor, squaring up to each other, apparently about to settle their differences over Diana by having a fist-fight.

"He'd managed to calm things down by pretending he hadn't noticed what was going on — 'Hey, guys! Time for dinner!' — but Sylvester clearly still wasn't happy.

More: Elton John opens up about his parents, drug use and health scares in new Smooth special

"After dinner, Diana and Richard Gere resumed their position together in front of the fire, and Sylvester stormed off home.

"'I never would have come,' he snapped, as David and I showed him to the door, 'if I'd known Prince f***in' Charming was gonna be here.' Then he added: 'If I'd wanted her, I would've taken her!

"We managed to wait until his car was out of sight before we started laughing," he says.

George Michael and Princess Diana were firm friends, with George saying of the Princess: "I thought she was a really great person - the Elvis of compassion."
George Michael and Princess Diana were firm friends, with George saying of the Princess: "I thought she was a really great person - the Elvis of compassion.". Picture: PA Images

"Back in our living room, Diana and Richard Gere were still gazing raptly at each other. She seemed completely unruffled.

"Maybe she hadn't realised what was happening. Or maybe stuff like that happened all the time and she was used to it.

See more: Princess Diana's cherished friendships with George, Freddie, Bowie and more in pictures

If she hadn't been aware of what was going on, we are sure George Michael would have filled Princess Diana in on the events of the evening so the two could have a good giggle.

Alongside Elton, George also had a firm friendship with Diana throughout her life, the Careless Whisper star and the Princess becoming intimate confidentes - despite their different worlds and backgrounds.

Me: Elton John Official Autobiography by Elton John is published by Macmillan and available to buy now.