ETERNAL singer Vernie Bennett has broken her silence on the band cancelling a planned reunion following a bitter row over transgender rights.
It comes after a spokesman for Louise Redknapp said she had decided to abandon the tour because of a clash with two of her former bandmates, the sisters Easther and Vernie Bennett.
The singer and former Strictly Come Dancing star, 48, rose to fame with the 90s girl group – which had a string of hits including I Wanna Be The Only One, Stay, Just A Step From Heaven and Power Of A Woman.
It was claimed that sisters Vernie and Easther Bennett alleged "the gay community was being hijacked by the trans community and they do not support this".
Addressing the public spat after bandmate Kelle Bryan also spoke out, Vernie said in a statement on Instagram: "I am 'Eternally' grateful for the family, friends, and amazing fans who have and continue to support our incredible journey and artistry.
"I've been blessed to connect with so many diverse and wonderful people from all walks of life during my career. You all have a piece of my heart.
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"Though it is impossible and counterproductive to respond to the overwhelming number of statements and allegations made online recently, I place this moment in God's hands.
"I truly appreciate all who continue to express love and support for my family and Eternal."
On Tuesday Eternal's original manager slammed Louise and her management over a statement released to the BBC claiming Easther and Vernie were against performing for the LGBT community.
Denis Ingoldsby claimed Louise had "thrown them under a bus" and insisted dates for a reunion tour had not been confirmed.
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He also said the sisters had been "devastated" by the row and accused Louise’s team of sharing details of a private email.
Louise's manager Simon Jones had told the BBC: "A message was sent to the team putting together the Eternal reunion stating that if it was to go ahead, neither Vernie nor Easther would perform at Pride shows or LGBTQ+ festivals.
"This was because the duo felt that the gay community was being hijacked by the trans community and they do not support this.
"Louise is a huge supporter and ally of the LGBTQ+ community and both herself and Kéllé told the duo they would not work with anyone who held these views, and as such the reunion as a four would not be going ahead.
"The team behind the proposed Eternal reunion are gay including management, PR and tour promoter, and neither myself nor any of the team would work with artists who held such views about the trans community."
In a Monday Instagram post, 48-year-old Loose Women star Kelle addressed reports about the mooted tour.
She said: "Opportunities to reunite for an Eternal reunion tour with the girls has been discussed many times over the years.
"As mothers, the right opportunity and timing for all of our schedules have been tricky to arrange.
"The relationship with our fans and the joy of celebrating our success was, and still is, my motivation.
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"My stance and allegiances have always been that I am an advocate for inclusion and equality for all.
"Thank you for your continued support over three decades. God bless, Kelle x."
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