Lee Ryan was Simon Webbe's rock when he found himself at the lowest point in his life, the Blue singer has said.
Simon waded into the criticisms of Lee's behaviour in the Celebrity Big Brother house to stick up for his pal, who he explained has a heart of gold.
The singer, 35, called the Daily Mirror from his holiday in Antigua to say: "I had great prospects when I was younger of being a footballer but then got injured. It was a s*** time and I lost two stone.
"I went back to Manchester and quickly found out being back at home that I didn't want to be a part of what was going on.
"There had been 42 shootings over two weeks and I was at a crossroads. I was finding it hard to get a job and had to make hard decisions."
Simon went on: "In 2000, on the day my grandad died, Lee called and persuaded me to move into his house. He had it in his heart to look after me when I had nobody else in London.
"He'll always be the guy that saved me and for that I will always owe him."
Lee, 30, has come under fire as a CBB contestant for getting involved with both Casey Batchelor and Jasmine Waltz on the reality show.