King Diamond spat gets uglier

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King Diamond and Hal Patino have escalated their war of words over the bassist's departure from the band last week, with the frontman calling the bassist's statement "pathetic lies" and Patino countering by calling Diamond a "tired, bitter old man."

The bandleader announced on Saturday that Patino had been “relieved of his duties” for the same reason he’d been dismissed in in 1990, suggesting drug problems were involved.

But Patino fired back yesterday, saying he’d quit after a dispute over payment for concert appearances, and that the reasons given for his departure 24 years ago had been untrue.

Now Diamond has responded in a statement he says disproves every point Patino made. He reports: “When someone puts out extreme lies about you and your character, there comes a time when you put a stop to it. This is that time.”

Addressing the pay claim he reveals Patino was offered $1000 per show and that every other member of the band and crew found their offers acceptable, adding: “If Hal didn’t find that satisfactory, no one kept him from leaving. I just wish he hadn’t brought this up on the very day/evening I arrived in Denmark [for rehearsals]. He’s had an entire year to think about this, and he brings it up now.”

Patino claims that, in 1990, Diamond “ told the press that I was kicked out of the band due to lack of enthusiasm and drug problems. That was not the reason – it was just too much touring, King got dropped by Roadrunner Records, and I wanted to go in another direction. He did the same to my best friends Mikkey Dee and Pete Blakk.”

But the frontman counters: “These are extremely insulting and pathetic lies. would Hal ever have come back if I had lied to the press about him? Can anybody explain what it means when Hal says that the reason he was fired was ‘too much touring’? What does this mean? I would like Hal to present the letter from Roadrunner saying they were dropping us from the label, if he can. This is another outright lie. Most of you already know that we bought our way out of Roadrunner by delivering Abigail Live 1987. I have the contract to prove this, and will gladly scan it in for all to see.”

Diamond alludes to Patino having drug issues, and in a direct comment to his former colleague says: “We will obviously never be working together again. There is no trust left. We can stop it at that, or you can continue if you want – just don’t forget that I know so many of the people you associate with just as well as you, and I know what’s going on in your life. Your real problem is really not what we’ve been talking about these past couple of days, right?”

Patino has followed his original statement up with another, countering Diamond’s claims, stating “I’m not a drug addict” and concluding: “I don’t care for the shit you are writing about me – I’m more concerned about my kids, family and friends, reading all your bullshit about me being a drug addict. You think you know what’s going on in my life? You don’t know shit and you never will.

“Your real problem is that you are a tired, bitter, old man. That’s the only thing I get from your statement. Just to end this now: I will never forgive you.”