Elton John pays for mum's operation

SIR Elton John has splashed out $62,500 for his estranged mother to undergo a hip operation.

The 'Rocket Man' singer hasn't spoken with his 90-year-old parent Sheila Dwight for eight years but, at the suggestion of his husband David Furnish, he recently picked up the bill for her one-week stay at London's private Wellington Hospital, where she underwent a double hip replacement, as part of a bid to reconcile with his mum.

A source told the Mail on Sunday newspaper: "David believes that paying for the surgery is in itself an important gesture. David is happily telling friends that they are all back in touch. Elton has been in touch at least twice since her 90th birthday in July. There is a reconciliation in progress."

However, it seems the 68-year-old singer - who has sons Zachary, five, and Elijah, three, with 53-year-old David - maybe making an effort in vain as Sheila isn't interested in being around his spouse.

She said: "It is good of him to pay and I do appreciate it. I would love it [a reconciliation] to happen - I am his mother. But I don't see it happening, at least not while Mr Furnish is around."

Sheila has previously accused David, who became Elton's civil partner in 2005 and married him last year, of turning her son against her.

The 'Candle in the Wind' hitmaker used to employ his mother as his housekeeper but she quit in 2008 when Elton demanded she cut Bob Halley, his former PA, and John Reid, his ex-manager, out of her life.

When Sheila refused, her son vowed never to speak to her again.