Elton John’s half-brother who condemned Rocketman biopic denies breaking lockdown laws by claiming unlicensed music event with 200 revellers was a ‘spiritual gathering’, court hears
- Geoff Dwight, Elton John’s estranged half-brother, denies helping organise unlicensed music event in Wales
- Prosecutors say event was attended by more than 200 people in August last year amid the Covid pandemic
- Dwight denied the offence, and his defence lawyer argued the gathering was a ‘religious spiritual event’
- Half-brother of singer Elton John criticised his Rocketman biopic’s depiction of their father last summer
Sir Elton John’s half-brother who famously denounced the Rocketman biopic today denied breaking lockdown laws by claiming that an unlicensed music event allegedly attended by more than 200 revellers was a religious spiritual gathering.
Geoff Dwight, the rock star’s 54-year-old estranged sibling who leads an alternative lifestyle making yurts and harps in the Vale of Clwyd, is accused of organising an event attended by more than 30 people in Denbighshire, north-east Wales, on August 29.
Prosecutors allege the event was attended by more than 200 people, with police bodycam footage to prove it – and that such an event was illegal under Welsh public health regulations introduced by the Government during the coronavirus pandemic.
Appearing at Llandudno magistrates today, Dwight and his partner Karen Webb, 58, both denied involvement in organising the event. If they are found guilty of the offence, they could each face a potentially unlimited fine under Covid-19 regulations.
Geoff Dwight, 54, is accused of organising an event attended by more than 30 people in Denbighshire on August 29 last year in breach of Welsh coronavirus regulations
Geoff Dwight has barely been in contact with his star brother (pictured), Rocketman singer Sir Elton John
Mr Fitzgerald told the court that the event was advertised on Facebook but then cancelled, and that Webb took no further part in organising it. Her profile shows an interest in ‘psytrance’ music and says in one message on social media: ‘We never breached the rules.’
District judge Gwyn Jones granted Dwight unconditional bail until a trial in June.
Sir Elton’s half-brother has barely been in contact with the singer and last summer questioned the portrayal of their father Stanley Dwight in the movie Rocketman.
Claiming the musical film rewrote history, Rocketman – which received a four-minute standing ovation at the Cannes Film Festival – depicts Stanley as cold and scornful of his son’s talents.
In the film, Stanley questions whether a young Sir Elton is good enough for a scholarship at the Royal Academy of Music and scolds him for practising his piano scales.
Sir Elton was born Reginald Dwight and took on his new name in 1972
David Furnish and Sir Elton Vanity Fair Oscar Party in LA, February 24, 2019
But hitting out at the portrayal of Stanley last summer, Dwight, one of Stanley’s four younger sons by his second marriage, said: ‘That’s not the Dad I remember.
‘Dad had a big heart and he loved us all equally. He was incredibly proud of Elton and everything that he achieved.’
He added: ‘This coldness, it’s a million miles away from what Dad was like.
‘He was a product of a time when men didn’t go around hugging each other and showing their feelings every minute of every day, but he had plenty of love in him for all of us.
‘As a kid, my memories of Dad are of him laughing and larking around. If one of us was upset, he’d do something silly like pretend to be a chimpanzee or he’d start tickling us.’
The makers of Rocketman called the film a ‘fantasy musical’. Stanley died in 1991.
Sir Elton was born Reginald Dwight and took on his new name in 1972.
Earlier this year the Rocketman took part in an NHS video alongside actor Sir Michael Caine encouraging people to be vaccinated against Covid-19.