Solved! Riddle of Sir Tom and Engelbert’s 20-year hump
THEY have been sworn enemies for more than 20 years after reportedly feuding over who is the most successful singer. But the rivalry between Sir Tom Jones and Engelbert Humperdinck may have been sparked by a far more old-fashioned reason – jealousy over a girl.
Jones, 75, spoke of the bad blood with 79-year-old Humperdinck last week as he promoted his autobiography. Asked if the pair would ‘ever patch things up,’ the Welsh-born singer replied: ‘No. It’s as I say, once a c***, always a c***.’ The fall-out had been blamed on a professional rivalry sparked early in their careers as they competed for the No1 spot with songs such as Green Green Grass Of Home and Release Me.
But last night a former girlfriend of Jones said she believed the feud had erupted after Humperdinck tried to seduce her. Californian entrepreneur Charlotte Laws, who had a three-year affair with Jones from 1979, said she met ‘Enge’ when he was performing in Las Vegas, across the street from where Jones was in concert.
She said: ‘I’d been with Tom a year or two when I happened to be walking through the MGM and I was approached by members of Enge’s entourage. I was told he wanted to speak to me in private. It was no secret I was with Tom.
‘I went into his private dressing room. He stood up, went into the centre of the room and said, “I think I have a problem” – and dropped his trousers. I started laughing because I didn’t know what else to do. Then he pulled his pants up and we both left the room.’
She said when she recounted the tale to Jones later that night, ‘he sat in stoney silence’.
Laws, who remains friends with Jones, said: ‘I am sure there was good old-fashioned jealousy there. They competed against each other for everything.’
STILL FRIENDS: Jones with Charlotte Laws in 2004