PAULA WOULD BE PROUD! One Daughter Is a Provocative Teenage Agony Aunt. Another Was Arrested for Being Drunk. Oh Yes, and Even Love Child Tiger Lily Is Causing Controversy. but Four Years on from Her Drug Death .

Daily Mail (London), September 22, 2004 | Go to article overview

PAULA WOULD BE PROUD! One Daughter Is a Provocative Teenage Agony Aunt. Another Was Arrested for Being Drunk. Oh Yes, and Even Love Child Tiger Lily Is Causing Controversy. but Four Years on from Her Drug Death .


Byline: SARAH CHALMERS

DOUBTLESS it was intended to be a swipe at the commentators who have criticised her mother's Bohemian lifestyle. In a recent newspaper article, Peaches Geldof, 15-year-old daughter of Paula Yates and Bob Geldof, insisted that a young girl's desire to wear makeup was entirely natural.

'We emulate those closest to us,' she wrote, 'so if Mummy dearest drinks, smokes and reads stacks of fashion and celebrity magazines, then aren't we likely to turn out this way?' It was a provocative and spirited piece, reminiscent of the late Paula Yates's own newspaper columns, yet her insistence served only to remind readers of her own traumatic early experiences.

Peaches, of course - along with sisters Fifi, now 21, and Pixie, 14 - has had an unfair share of heartache.

Over an astonishing five years - beginning in 1995 with their mother's affair with INXS frontman Michael Hutchence, and ending four years ago with her death from a heroin overdose - the Yates-Geldof daughters lived their lives against a backdrop of one of the celebrity world's bleakest narratives.

In the ensuing tangle of events, which began with that fatal attraction between Paula and Australian rock star Hutchence, there followed a bitter divorce, a custody wrangle, a lovechild and drug abuse.

The finale erupted with two ghastly deaths. First, in November 1997, Hutchence was found hanging from a door in a Sydney hotel room. Then Paula plunged into depression and began consuming drugs and alcohol to such an extent that her early death seemed inevitable.

By the time it came, in September 2000, she had not only left four daughters without a mother but with formative years very unlike the fairytale childhoods she had hoped for.

What, then, has become of those tragic youngsters, and how deep is the effect of their parents' behaviour?

In the immediate aftermath of Paula's death, Bob Geldof took in Tiger Lily, his former wife's lovechild by Hutchence.

Tiger Lily, then just four, had been alone with Paula's dead body for up to 12 hours before it was discovered.

Geldof, despite the wishes of Hutchence's family in LA and Australia, insisted the proper place for the traumatised youngster was with her sisters in his home.

Later, he secured fulltime custody of the child, whose striking resemblance to her natural father is a permanent physical reminder of the affair that tore Geldof's marriage apart.

But the story does not end there. As the Mail has discovered, the fallout from the Yates- Geldof-Hutchence triangle continues to this day.

Not only is the battle for Tiger Lily's heart continuing, but its effects are being felt by all four of the children as well as Geldof, and his girlfriend, French actress Jeanne Marine.

ALTHOUGH they are blood relations, Michael Hutchence's parents have barely seen their granddaughter since Paula's death.

And though Hutchence's father, Kelland, now 73 and living in Sydney, was always happy for Geldof to take on Tiger Lily, his ex-wife Patricia Glassop was not.

Patricia, who is in her 60s and lives in Queensland, fought for custody of Tiger Lily with her LA-based daughter, Tina. Although they lost the battle, they did initially see more of the youngster in the immediate aftermath of Paula's death.

But despite early efforts made on both sides to put personal differences aside, relations are now somewhat strained.

Although there is still phone contact, Tina has criticised Geldof publicly for refusing to allow Tiger to travel to Australia to see her paternal grandmother, who is not well enough to make the journey to Britain.

At Christmas, Tina sent a card to Geldof pleading with him to include Hutchence's family in Tiger Lily's upbringing. The card was emblazoned with a dove and the word 'Peace'. Inside, Tina wrote: 'May Divine Power give you the compassion to allow our Tiger a relationship with her father's family. …

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