Manic Street Preachers' press people are strenuously denying reports that Richey Edwards has slashed himself with a knife while recovering in hospital from nervous exhaustion. However, sources very close to the bond are now admitting that Edwards' condition is much worse than previously thought and that the Manics will probably play the Reading Festival without him - though the band are hopeful he will be well enough to re-join them fora European tour in October.
The slashing incident is alleged to have occurred towards the end of last week. However, not surprisingly, the hospital where Richey is recovering are keeping tight-lipped and the band's spokeswoman has described the reports as "pure nonsense".
"It's also complete nonsense that the band are splitting up," she added. "Richey is still active in the band and he's getting better."
"He is, however, very ill at the moment and things have now developed too point where the bond but, more importantly, Richey, have decided that he needs to seek out professional psychiatric help to deal with what is basically a sickness."
A statement issued by the Manic Street Preachers' management added: "Speculation that Richey is leaving the bond is completely unfounded. Even from the clinic he is still very much involved with the artwork design and other marketing aspects for the forthcoming album, which everybody feels is the band's greatest release to date."