Elton John’s civil partner David Furnish has said that many of George Michael’s friends contact them for help over his health.

The Wham! star gave an interview to the Guardian last week in which he said John should “shut his mouth”.

He said: “He will not be happy until I bang on his door in the middle of the night saying, ‘Please, please, help me, Elton. Take me to rehab.’ It’s not going to happen.”

Michael admitted he was currently smoking around eight joints a day but would not state when he last did crack cocaine.

Furnish appeared on BBC 5 Live this morning and said he and John were “regularly” contacted by worried friends about Michael’s mental and physical health.

He told interviewer Victoria Derbyshire: “George has to want to help himself. If he wants help we’re here for him, if he doesn’t want help that’s fine, that’s his choice too, if he doesn’t think he needs help that’s fine too.”

He added: “A lot of people are saying it to us, we get it very very regularly, that they are concerned about his health, concerned about his state of mind and his wellbeing and that as Elton has been there and experienced sobriety now for 19 years, that perhaps he’s best positioned to be able to help out.

“But if George feels he doesn’t need help and his life is in check and balance, then maybe his friends are wrong. I haven’t seen him in such a long time, it’s difficult to judge and pass comment.”

Furnish also commented on plans to adopt an HIV-positive Ukrainian orphan, who John said had “stolen my heart”.

The couple were told that they could not adopt Lev because they were too old and their civil partnership was not recognised as marriage in the country.

Furnish said the couple were “hugely disappointed” but were concentrating on other ways to support Lev and his brother.

He said: “We really felt we could make a huge difference in their lives but we’ll make a difference from here and we’ll do as much as we can from here and support them as much as we can and continue to campaign about these laws.

“I think there’s a lot of things they need to catch up in terms of adoption and the status of a child that is HIV positive and what the status of adoption is in their home country and we want to get that human rights wrongness, that we see, improved.

“It won’t apply to Lev and his brother, we just want to get them out of the orphanage and with a good family as soon as possible, but for future children so they can have a better and smoother path.”