Stephen Gately's family in Twitter row with lover over use of photo
A WAR of words has erupted between the family of late Boyzone singer Stephen Gately and his surviving partner Andy Cowles.
The row was triggered after reports that Boyzone have been forbidden from including images of Stephen -- who died in October 2009 -- on their 20th anniversary tour.
However his brother Tony has insisted his family was "100pc" behind Boyzone's idea to use Gately's image and vocals during the dates.
Now the row has spilt on to Twitter, with Tony Gately telling Cowles that no one knew Stephen better than his family.
"Stephen would cut you off before his family, he told us that, remember you only knew him six yrs," tweeted Tony Gately yesterday.
He told another follower on Twitter that he would continue to "speak up" on Mr Cowles "until he stops playing the sympathy card and tweeting things related too my fam (sic) and bro (sic)".
But Mr Cowles hit back, tweeting that "Steo would want me supported. And he'd have cut off anybody who hurt me. He was very strong-willed".
Mr Cowles revealed how he had lost sleep over the online row because the "drama and aggression is so stressful".
The businessman went on reiterate that he had not blocked Boyzone using of Stephen's vocals and image of Stephen on the tour.
Surviving Boyzone members Ronan Keating, Keith Duffy, Shane Lynch and Mikey Graham had planned to tour later this year using a hologram of the late singer and his vocals during their gigs.
But Shane Lynch has spoken of a dispute which could prevent them using the late singer's contributions to their stage show.
"Some people have different ideas of what's right and what's wrong. I don't want to pinpoint any individual -- I just call it the estate.
The Herald approached both the Gately family and Andy Cowles for comment but received no response.