Elton John called 'a coward' by son of former music publisher

Elton John has been called "a coward" by the son of his former music publisher and label owner.

Unhappy with the way his late father Dick James is portrayed by Stephen Graham in RocketmanStephen James tells London's Express, "I don't understand why [Elton] seems to feel the need to try to destroy everybody who helped him."

While Dick James is portrayed as the prototypical cigar-chomping, older-generation showbiz mogul, Stephen says that was a fabrication. He claims Dick treated Elton like a son who often relied on the music industry veteran for advice.

The younger James -- who worked alongside his father during the 1960s, '70s and '80s -- believes the family company DJM "only ever tried to do the best for [Elton] and to promote his career. I really am very upset that he has turned on people in this way." 

Elton's albums up to 1976 were issued on the DJM label. Dick also worked with The Beatles -- establishing the Northern Songs publishing company with the manager Brian Epstein.

Dick James died of a heart attack in 1986, not long after Elton sued him over past royalties.

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