Led Zep rumour leaves Branson ‘dazed & confused’

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Billionaire Richard Branson has slammed reports that he offered Led Zeppelin a £500m reunion contract.

He says the Mirror story – which claimed that frontman Robert Plant tore up the paperwork after the rest of the band had signed – is “completely untrue” and “fabricated.”

Branson writes in his blog: “I spoke to Robert about the story, which he also confirmed is complete rubbish from his side too.

“Robert told me he’s very proud of his history and the band’s past, and has always had great respect and love for his work. However, he really believes he must move on with his life and career today.

“Making up this story is very disrespectful to how wonderful his career with the Sensational Shape Shifters is going.”

The Virgin tycoon says Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones also have “many exciting projects” in their futures, and insists each member of Led Zeppelin should be “respected in their own right.”

He finishes: “As Robert told me: ‘Look, Richard, I just do things because I love them and I want to do more new things that I love.’ I couldn’t agree more.”

In May Plant said he had no interest in returning to be part of the “circus” that Led Zep had become. Page recently appeared to accept there was no chance of a reunion, saying of his former colleague’s career: “It’s his journey, isn’t it?”

Led Zep are midway through the release of their remaster series. Plant launched latest solo album Lullaby And… The Ceaseless Roar earlier this year, while Page says he’s planning to record and tour in 2015.