The music legend, 78, is dubbed a fake by Vernon Hopkins in his autobiography Just Help Yourself.
Today Tom hits back for the first time.
He told the Daily Star Sunday: “Vernon is a bitter person. This is sour grapes because he didn’t go on to other things after we worked together. I have heard what he’s written in the book and I don’t know how the hell he came up with it all.
“For him to be this bitter hurts me. What he’s done is a shame because we were very close once. I feel sad about it.”
Vernon is the man who discovered Tom.
But after years performing together they parted ways — and there was bad blood.
When Vernon published his book Just Help Yourself last month, he told the Daily Star Sunday he was ruthlessly ditched by the star.
Tom is heartbroken his former pal has turned on him.
He said: “It’s sad that Vernon has said all of this, especially because back then he was the friend I was closest to in that band.
“The truth of the matter is I was offered a TV show. I told the band ‘I’ve been offered this show so you’ll need to learn to read music — the arrangements are going to be coming fast and furious’. But they said they didn’t want to do that. So I thought ‘sorry… God bless you’.
“The others told me it had been great working together. But Vernon didn’t take it that well. He says I let him go, which I didn’t.”
In the book Vernon also claims Tom’s public persona is all an act.
He is convinced fans who watch the Welshman on The Voice aren’t seeing the real him.
But Tom said: “For him to say things like this does hurt me.
“We were really close at one time.”
“Vernon was the one that got me into singing with his band. One Friday night their singer didn’t show so he asked me to sing with them.”