INXS said today they were “shocked” at accusations that they had sacked singer JD Fortune. The Canadian singer said last week that he was dismissed without warning at Hong Kong airport. Fortune, 25, who was brought in to replace late frontman Michael Hutchence, who died in 1997, said he was now broke and living out of his car. But the Australian rockers today said they were “shocked and despondent” at his claims. A statement issued by the band said: “Not only are we shocked by the claims, even the place the supposed incident was to have taken place is a mystery.”
Fortune, real name Jason Dean Bennison, was chosen as Hutchence’s replacement after winning a reality TV search in 2005. Last week, during an interview with Canadian TV show Entertainment Tonight, he described how he was sacked. He said: “I was in an airport at Hong Kong and literally got a handshake.
“I found myself really alone because I had travelled with these guys for 23 months. I don’t know where I am going, from sofa to sofa, from night to night. I am trying to get through my life.”
But the singer admitted that his dismissal may have been due to a cocaine habit he had recently developed.
The band’s “creative director and global business strategist”, CM Murphy, said the
group were “horrified” by the interview.
He added: “The band have always stated to me that Fortune’s services could potentially be contracted again when INXS next tour.
“In fact, he was next on my list to call regarding a very big recording project I am putting together for INXS at present,” Murphy added.
“I guess I have no reason to call him now.”