H and Claire defend themselves on Steps Official – Generation STEPS
Steps

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Claire and H have posted on the Steps Official message board.

Claire’s post:

Happy New Year! I’m sad to see that there have been some untrue things said in the press over the last few days and want to reassure you that we did all agree that our parting was mutual and that we want to stay friends. It’s also not true that I have done a solo deal! Of course I am upset but I want to look back on the great times I had in Steps and for that I’ve only got you to thank.

So a big THANK YOU and all my love,
Claire

H’s post:

Hello everyone I just want to send all my love and best wishes for a great 2002 to all of you. It has been a very sad week for all of us but I just wanted you to know that it didn’t all happen the way it has been said in some of the papers (again!). Faye has been in touch with me to say she didn’t even speak to the NOTW! After the show in Manchester we all had a big hug and I certainly felt that we would remain good friends.
Love always,
H

Context added in March 2020:
In the 2011 documentary Steps Reunion, the band confirm that the split did happen as described in the News Of The World article.