In general I agree, except he did say the person was his friend. My close friends and I all know what each other makes. It helps a lot when negotiating for a new job, because I now have additional data to know that what I'm asking for is not crazy.
One of these friends I have worked for in the past and could work for again, but he readily admits he can't afford me right now.
EDIT, I read colleague as most likely a friend now. Perhaps not, but my above point still stands about friends.