The latest salvo of publicly fired retorts started after Furnish revealed to BBC Radio 5 Live listeners that he and his hubby have been bombarded with requests from friends “worried” about Michael and his mental state.

“They keep calling us and saying ‘You have to do something. George is in a very bad way,’” the Canadian film impresario told host Victoria Derbyshire.

Furnish’s comments about the former Wham! member might just sound like so much bitchy gossip if it weren’t for the fact that the singer made a startling admission about his drug use last weekend to the Guardian.

When a writer for the U.K. newspaper asked him about reports he was high on crack when he was arrested in 2008 in a Hampstead Heath public toilet for suspicion of drug possession, Michael admitted that he was.

“Was I? On that occasion? Yeah,” the singer said and then dodged further questions about his crack use.

Michael also told the paper that although his marijuana use was pretty heavy in the past – 25 joints a day heavy – he’s cut back to “seven or eight a day now.”

Holy cow! 25 joints a day? I guess that’s why George only cranks out an album every half decade or so. It’s a miracle he was able to move out of a chair long enough to get into trouble like driving his SUV into several parked vehicles in 2007. (Although, it does explain why he drove into several parked vehicles.) How the hell did they get him out on the road and onto the stage in 2006? Taco Bell?

Michael’s response to Furnish’s recent claims? He told the Guardian John “needs to get on with his own life.”

“Elton … 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.”

But Sir Elton’s partner insists he’s merely relating the consensus among Michael’s circle of friends, who only have his best interest in mind.

“We’re only reacting to what his close friends are saying to us,” Furnish explained. “A lot of people are saying it to us. We get it very regularly.

“They’re saying they’re concerned about his health, concerned about his state of mind and his well-being and because Elton has been there and experienced sobriety now for 19 years, that perhaps he’s in the best position to help him.”

Of course, this isn’t the first time that Michael’s pharmaceutical hobbies have come between the two friends, who recorded John’s 1974 hit “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me” together in 1991.

Almost exactly five years ago, a nine-month long, very public spat erupted after Sir Elton told the press that the singer smoked too much dope because of a “deep-rooted unhappiness in his life” and rubbed salt into the wound by calling Michael’s 2004 album Patience “disappointing.”

In response, Michael told Heat magazine Sir Elton didn’t have any business making judgements like that because he wasn’t privy to the details of his private life and asked fans to ignore Captain Fantastic’s pronouncements. John soon began to regret his statement and attempted to make amends by calling Michael, who refused to even speak to him.

The rift remained firmly in place until July of 2005, when celebrity chef and “Hell’s Kitchen” drill sergeant Gordon Ramsay orchestrated a truce by cooking the duo a swanky dinner at Michael’s North London home.

This time however, it’s apparently not going to be Sir Elton who extends the olive branch.

“George has to want to help himself and if he wants help, then we’re here for him,” Furnish told Derbyshire.

“If he doesn’t want help, that’s his choice too or if he doesn’t think he needs help then that’s also fine.”

Curiously, John himself has yet to weigh in on the matter, although that might be because his biological clock is ticking too loudly for him to hear anything else.

In September, the singer and Furnish applied to adopt an HIV-positive Ukrainian toddler but were denied based on the fact Sir Elton is too old and not legally married outside the U.K.

Furnish told BBC radio today that despite the rejection the couple intend to provide the 14-month-old boy and his brother “the best health care, education and family options available to them” and plan to wage a campaign to eliminate the Ukrainian law that blocked them.