Geri Horner broke down in tears as she paid tribute to her friend George Michael just days after his cause of death was revealed.
The former Spice Girl, who gave her youngest child the middle name George in honour of the singer, described him as “such a good man”.
She told ITV’s This Morning: “I absolutely loved him. When I left the Spice Girls he just took me under his wing and he was such a lovely person.”
George was found dead on Christmas Day, and Geri gave birth to her son Montague George Hector on January 23.
She said: “It was very shocking and then suddenly I have a baby, it was the circle of life.
“You don’t expect it, he was such a good man.
“Real friends tell you how it is. We see in the newspapers the artist, but a real human being says it how it is and keeps your feet on the ground.
“He was very mentoring. I would play him my music and he would tell me when I was rubbish or when I was good.
“He was so generous, he bought me a car, he helped me with my first daughter. I lived with him, I was gutted.”
She added it was her mother’s idea to give her son the middle name George in honour of their shared friend.
Earlier this week, a coroner said George died of heart disease and a build-up of fat in his liver, which can be linked to drug and alcohol abuse.
The 53-year-old, who had chart-topping hits including Last Christmas and Freedom, suffered health scares and fought drug addiction for years.
Geri reflects on her friendship with George in new documentary Geri’s 1990s: My Drive To Freedom, which was filmed before he died.
The BBC show follows the star as she revisits her childhood home and listens to the music that was meaningful to her.
She said: “I didn’t realise how much music influences us and when I was a child all the different music influenced me as a writer going forward.
“Abba’s One Of Us was from a time when my parents were getting divorced and so when I listen to that I instantly think ‘oh my god, that was a really tough time’.”
Geri said she feels “incredibly grateful” for the life she now shares with her husband Christian Horner and her two children.
She said: “I’m in my 40s now and some people may know from my personal life, getting here was not straightforward.
“I had some dodgy boyfriends, it wasn’t quite working in that department and then suddenly life blessed me with a lovely husband.
“I had a beautiful daughter already and that is fantastic but then to have another baby, I’m so grateful.”