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Elton John Reflects On His Late Mother Being 'A Sociopath' And Why She Never Liked Him

Sir Elton John has opened up about his life with husband David Furnish, his contentious relationship with his late mother, drugs and recovery, and his new autobiography in an interview with CBS Sunday Morning.

The 72-year-old entertainer talked with CBS's Tracy Smith in Vancouver, one stop on his three-year farewell tour.

In the book, Me, he calls his mother "The Cecile B. DeMille of bad moods". He told Smith she was hard-working, but he was never sure which version of her would walk through the door. Moreover, no matter how successful he became, he could never please her. They stopped talking for long periods of time.

"She never liked David. She never liked anybody. She never asked to see the children," John said, referring to his husband and their two sons.

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"But I'm glad they didn't meet her, because she would have criticised them, like she criticised me," he said. "She couldn't help herself. She's a sociopath."

John told Smith he and his mother reconciled before her death, in December 2017. He said they had a couple of lunches at his house, but nothing had really changed between them.

David Furnish, Elijah Furnish-John, Zachary Furnish-John, and Sir Elton John attend the Elton John AIDS Foundation Oscar Viewing Party in 2015. Image: Michael Kovac/Getty

"The only thing that changed was, I didn't lose my temper," John said. "I knew what was coming and I let her get on with it. And I just said, 'I love you, Mum,' and she said, 'I love you, too. I don't like you, but I love you. But I don't like you.'"

Asked about any regrets, John told Smith it was trying cocaine in 1974. He vomited the first time, and yet went back for more. He said he did so because he wanted to be part of the group.

Soon, he was hooked. "It nearly destroyed my soul," he said. "My soul was black, like a charred piece of steak, until I said, 'I need help.' And suddenly a little pilot light in in my soul came along going, 'Yes, I'm still here. I'm still here.'"

He's been clean and sober for 29 years.

John said he wrote the book (to be published next week by Henry Holt and Co.) for his sons. "I wanted my boys to know what I was like and what happened, so that when I'm not here they can read the book and read the truth," he said.

"I just want them to understand what I was like when I went through -- the journey I had before I had them -- how they made my life complete, how they've, you know, finished the circle, and that, you know, they were the last chapter on an incredible life."