Sydney music chief's lover denies murder

IN HIS first Australian television interview, Alexandre Despallieres, the Frenchman accused of murdering his older Sydney lover, the former Warner Music boss Peter Ikin, and claiming his $20 million estate with a fake will, has denied any wrongdoing.

Tracked down via his Facebook profile, Despallieres spoke to the Channel Seven reporter Ross Coulthart and the interview will air tomorrow on the network's current affairs program Sunday Night.

When Coulthart asks Despallieres: ''Did you murder Peter Ikin?'' the Frenchman offers a one word response: ''No.''

He also claims that he was unaware the will that he used to claim Ikin's $20 million estate was a fake.

Coulthart described Despallieres as ''very slick, very charming. I do not doubt that he has got one of those narcissistic self-belief personalities. I don't think he acquits himself well in the interview, at times he comes across evasive and offers no explanations on some very key points''.

Despallieres, 44, who married Ikin, 62, in a civil partnership ceremony in London only a month before the Australian's death in 2008, had been in La Sante Prison in Paris for almost a year on suspicion of murder, before being released on bail in February pending the French judiciary deciding whether he will stand trial.

Despallieres insists that Ikin, a longtime friend of Elton John, Rod Stewart and Billy Joel, died because his liver was destroyed by his ''addiction to cocaine'', an allegation the former Warners executive's friends flatly rejected.

Officers from the French equivalent of Scotland Yard continue to make inquiries in Australia, the US and London.

Ikin was cremated, in Paris's Pere Lachaise cemetery, a week after his death. An analysis of his blood and urine showed lethal quantities of paracetamol.

The story Sydney music chief's lover denies murder first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.

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