Richard Gere, Sylvester Stallone nearly had a 'fist-fight' over Princess Diana, Elton John claims

Princess Diana was a highly sought-after woman.

In an excerpt from his new memoir, "Me," which ran on the Daily Mail, Elton John recalls a preeminent example of the so-called Diana Effect that the late royal had on the people that she encountered throughout her life, "one that could bring Hollywood superstars to the verge of a punch-up over her, like a couple of love-struck teenage idiots."

In the early nineties, after Diana had separated from Prince Charles in 1992 and before the release of "The Lion King" in 1994, for which John wrote music, John and his now-husband David Furnish threw a dinner party for Disney head Jeffrey Katzenberg and his wife in London, which was attended by a slew of famous faces.

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In addition to George Michael and Richard Curtis, Princess Diana, Sylvester Stallone and Richard Gere were all also in attendance and the night, as recalled by John, would result in "the most peculiar scene."

"Straight away, Richard Gere and Diana seemed very taken with each other," he writes in his memoir. "She was separated from Charles by this point, and Richard had broken up with Cindy Crawford. They ended up sitting in front of the fireplace together, locked in rapt conversation."

Not everyone at the exclusive dinner party was happy with Diana and Gere's instant connection, however.

"Me" by Elton John ($17.60) Order on Amazon here

"Judging by the kind of looks he kept shooting them, Diana and Richard Gere's newly blossoming friendship was not going down well with Sylvester Stallone at all," he explained. "I think he may have turned up to the party with the express intention of picking Diana up, only to find his plans for the evening ruined."

As their guests moved to the dinner table, John and Furnish noticed that two people were noticeably absent: Gere and Stallone. John remembers asking his partner to go find them before he reported back that they had a "situation" on their hands.

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"It transpired that he'd discovered Sylvester Stallone and Richard Gere in the corridor, squaring up to each other, apparently about to settle their differences over Diana by having a fist-fight," he writes, before revealing that the "Rocky" star "stormed off" out of the party following the dinner, still angry that he missed his chance with Diana.

"'I never would have come,' he snapped, as David and I showed him to the door, 'if I'd known Prince f---in' Charming was gonna be here.' Then he added: 'If I'd wanted her, I would've taken her!'" John writes in the excerpt. "We managed to wait until his car was out of sight before we started laughing."

Meanwhile, Diana was "unruffled" by the commotion.

"Maybe she hadn't realised what was happening," John muses. "Or maybe stuff like that happened all the time and she was used to it."

"Me" by Elton John will be released on October 15. Pre-order it here.

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