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Frequently Asked Questions
During interviews we have been asked many questions some of which are recorded here.
Michael Hutchence

Did Michael want to do anything other than sing and write songs?

Yes as a matter of fact as a little boy and in to his teens he wanted to be a pilot, but his math was terrible and that is one area you need to be strong in. He always grilled our stepfather Ross - a decorated pilot and group captain- on stories about his flying days.

Was Michael really interested in acting?

Michael always wanted to act, this is why he was initially excited about living in the United States as a teenager. There were very few actors coming out of Australia at the time and not many opportunities in his own country for actors. It has of course changed now.

Even though he was shy, Michael was destined to perform. His interest in acting came about when we went to live in America. He loved the drama classes at school. Patricia was working in film and television so he always enjoyed spending time on the set. With the success of INXS, he would often come to the studio for a quick make-up when he had a photo shoot.

Did you have any indication that Michael was depressed?

Over the last year of his life Michael had said on and off "I just can't take it anymore". But he would pick up and go on tour and attend to his responsibilities. After he died we found out that he had been prescribed anti-depressants by a general practitioner over a period of two years. During that time the physician had doubled the dosage without insisting Michael go into therapy. He did not see psychiatrist until one month before he took his life. The psychiatrist saw him twice only. 

Why do you say that Michael was not going to marry Paula, it was in the press many times?

It isn't just that Michael had repeatedly stated that he was not prepared to marry Paula - Michael was not the marrying kind. It was going to take a lot for him to change his mind. He had put out a statement to that effect in October, 1997 through his NY manager Martha Troupe. The only person he said he had considered marrying is Michele Bennett.

Paula gave good press. She was a former gossip columnist and always had the ears of the press. They were thrilled when she wanted to say something, as she was outrageous and would say anything that came into her head. She was particularly fond of saying that she and Michael were going to get married. 

Why didn't Michael tell her to stop saying that they were going to get married?

At first Michael just ignored it because he said he knew it was not true and Paula said she was only playing with the journalists but it eventually got to him and in front of family he asked her to stop. Paula resorted to having friends 'leak' the news.

What do you think pushed Michael to the edge?

Ultimately we are responsible for ourselves but Michael was pressured on many levels and lived in a bubble permeated by a select few. He knew his life had become a mess and did not see a way out.

Michael did not leave a note, we can only go by his actions and words in his last weeks and hours. We do know that after working hard for 20 years he had very real concerns about his business managers in regard to his finances, and most of all, he desperately wanted to see his little Tiger. Tiger was being held in London, a city he vowed never to return to. This was not because he didn't like the city or the people, he just could not live among the aggressive viciousness of the press.

Do you believe Michael committed suicide or do you think something else killed him?

It is highly doubtful that Michael's death was an accident as Paula contended. Her statement to the Sydney police in November 1997 do not mention her theory expressed in a paid televised interview in 1998. In her detailed statement to the detectives the day before the funeral, she blames Michael's depression and ultimate suicide on her ex husband.

Michael had many pressures and he had lost his self-esteem, he had been forgetting his own lyrics on stage and he was on a steady diet of Prozac without being monitored. Any doctor will tell you that an anti-depressant is a very dangerous drug under those circumstances.

What happened to Michael's estate?

I think it is paying the bills for several people, just not the people who Michael intended it for in particular his daughter.

What do you say to Michael's fans in light of his passing? 

I would say that Michael was a generous, loving, intelligent, funny, man. He could be charming of course, but down deep he thought of himself as a regular, down to earth man, he often referred to his public persona, the stage performer as; "The other Michael Hutchence". He loved the fans and he lapped up all the love they sent to him while he was on stage. He never underestimated the power of a loving fan base. We are lucky in that he made a lot of music and we are left with that legacy.

His story shows just how out of focus you can get when you listen to only a handful of people and don't look into things for yourself. Being kept so busy and allowing others to cut you off from the outside world is dangerous. Just because you pay someone an exorbitant amount of money to work for you does not guarantee that they will be loyal and certainly does not make them a friend.


Tiger Lily

Do you see much of Tiger Lily?

Bob has said that we can see her at any time, but London is not exactly a weekend trip it's a long commute for us all.

We call, fax and write on a weekly basis. Tiger often asks when we will be coming to visit or when she can come to us but she is a little child and does not understand how far away she lives from Australia and the United States. We continue to let her know that she is deeply loved by her father's family.

Why did you object to Bob Geldof taking custody of Tiger?

For us it was a matter of what was best for a little 4 year old. There are several reasons why we were incredulous at the British court's decision to award Bob custody, and this has nothing to do with our views on Bob as a person. We see Bob as a terrific, caring Dad to his girls and we are lucky that he stepped forward though naturally we miss her very much.

It is understandable that some immediately thought she should 'stay' with her sisters, but most people did not know that the two younger Geldof girls had not been living with Paula and Tiger for over two years when their mother died. The eldest had been living with her Dad since Tiger was born. Also the Geldof girls are considerably older than Tiger, besides, siblings are not caretakers. Ultimately it would be Bob who would be responsible for Tiger and as good a Dad as he is to his girls, as nice a person as he may be, he and Michael were anything but friends.

It is a very unusual situation especially when Paula had not had contact with any of her relatives in years, and none of Michael's relatives reside in London. 

How do you deal with Tiger living in London?

It is a challenging situation to keep up a relationship with a little girl living so far away. We each write and call to speak with her. We try to keep a dialogue about subjects that a little girl would be interested in, remember the names of her friends and what her favorite books are. It is important that there is a continuity and a familiarity that gives her a sense of family.

One day she will want to know more about her father and she will wonder about her cousins who resemble her, all the things that children are naturally curious about. Although we miss her now, we will still be here when the time comes for her to explore her heritage. We are comforted by the knowledge that this child is a survivor. She survived the suicide of her father and she survived in a home where her mother overdosed even when there was nobody else there to take care of her. 

What happens to Tiger's inheritance? 

It is pretty clear that she will not get the inheritance Michael worked so hard for which is truly sad. Her father's royalties alone should have secured her future, but it is very doubtful that she will ever see them. But, I am not concerned with Tiger's financial welfare, that is not the point because if Bob drops the ball we are here to pick it up. The point is that while these men told the court and the press that they were holding all the assets in trust for Michael's daughter, they were using it for their own benefit. Just as we said they would do. I am amazed that neither Kell nor Paula saw through these men. Had they joined us when we invited them to, this could not have happened because we could have pooled our resources. (Jan. 2002. Tina to a journalist).

If you thought Tiger was in danger while living with her mother why didn't you do something about it?

We desperately tried. We tried so hard and made such a nuisance of ourselves with the British authorities (Social Services) that Paula's attorney finally got an injunction against us. We were told by Social Services that they no longer had to deal with our calls and letters as Paula's attorney had formally told them they should ignore Michael's family.

We even had a meeting with Bob Geldof at the suggestion of our London attorney. As he suggested that Bob is so powerful and he had won custody of his children, maybe he would help. Bob had won custody of his children with some potent evidence, but those documents were sealed.

Tiger was surrounded by many adults; godparents, publicists and attorneys who were more interested in protecting her mother's' image than protecting a little child cut off from family. 


Paula Yates

Do you blame any particular person for the way Paula died?

We are still very angry that so many people surrounding Paula who should have felt responsible for a little child (Tiger's many godparents) ignored her plight. We are just lucky that Tiger is alive, she could have ingested anything while alone with her mother's body.

How do you know that Paula had a substance abuse problem?

Without divulging names, several people alerted us to Paula's plight. We knew that each time the press reported that she had been checked into the Priory for 'grief counselling' it was highly possible that it was something else. The Priory is popular with British celebrities who need detox, rehab or rest.

Did Social Services do anything about your warnings about Paula's problem?

Social Services sounded promising at first. They said they would visit Paula's home and make an assessment. We foolishly thought that would be a powerful act as we knew from the outrageous calls we had received from Paula and the backup of certain people close to her who had talked about her substance abuse that they would see that Tiger was in danger. Then we found out that they had 'made an appointment' to see Paula. Of course her friends had her cleaned up by the time the authorities went to the house and she charmed them and they later told us that Paula had complained to them that Michael's family was a problem.

How did you feel when you heard that Tiger had been found alone with her mother?

Obviously we were angry with the British Court system. After all, how could a judge decide to move two older children out of Paula's home, thereby leaving a little two-year-old to fend for herself. We don't know how these judges can live with themselves.

Court documents from Bob and Paula's custody fight had been sealed and everyone was observing a confidentiality rule. Thus when we contacted Social Services they did not take this into consideration. I wonder how many people who knew the particulars of the Yates/Geldof case had a hard time sleeping after Tiger was found alone with her deceased mother.

Why didn't Paula join your efforts to secure Tiger's inheritance?

In reality it was in Paula's best interest to join us in our litigation as Tiger's future depended on it but it became obvious that in the short term she was financially dependent on Michael's business manager. Obviously the idea of litigation in which he was the lead defendant was out of the question. I think she was given poor advice and trusted the wrong people because it didn't make sense when she refused to join us.

We have no idea what she had been told by the executor and business managers. We think that Paula was under the impression that we were trying to take something away from her, when in fact we were trying to secure her future along with Tiger.

Bob Geldof

What is your relationship with Bob Geldof?

It's quite a harmonious relationship which is difficult for many to understand as he and Michael were never friends and in fact had an acrimonious relationship, so considering the circumstances surrounding Michael's passing, it is a little strange, but we focus on Tiger's needs.

Are you angry with Bob Geldof?

We are not angry with Bob. During a television interview in Ireland (Bob's country) the host pointed out that in his opinion he thought that by keeping Tiger in London, it would seem to prolong and magnify the pain of losing Michael. Of course we miss her very much but we believe Bob is a caring father to his girls and at the time were glad he stepped forward, though naturally we miss her very much.

Rhett Hutchence

Was Rhett angry when your book came out? 

Possibly. Rhett is a very unusual, interesting man, with a talent for storytelling, I have been encouraging him for years to write a novel, he would do well.

Although there have been no lawsuits or even angry letters stemming from 'Just A Man'.


Where are the missing millions?

"I am astonished when I am still asked this question, but it makes me wonder what people think the litigation was about. My mother and I said all along that the executors were on a mission to hide the assets and avoid handing them over to Michael's daughter."  - Tina Hutchence to journalist for Australian publication in March, 2002 when asked about the final accounting of Michael's estate from remaining executor, Andrew Paul.

Whoever drew up Michael's will, - and we are led to believe it was Colin Diamond's barrister (since disbarred), certainly didn't know Michael well as he had Patricia's name down as Ann, Tina was Christina Ellen instead of Christina Elaine, and Tigerlily who is correctly named Heavenly Hiraani Tigerlily as Hirani. The will was signed by both Stephen and Colin Diamond as witnesses!

Where do Michael's royalties go?

Since his death, Michael's royalties have been sent off shore to an account directed by Michael's former business managers from New Zealand, Hong Kong, London and Australia. We are certain that Tiger Lily will not see one penny of her inheritance because early on during the negotiations we offered to drop all charges and lawsuits if they would put everything in Tiger's name. They agreed only on the condition that they could continue to control all the moneys. For obvious reasons we wanted an independent trustee, and not surprisingly, Diamond refused the offer - that confirmed to us that he did not just want to keep the assets safe for Tiger.

They have never had to show the court that anything was in Tiger's name and the judge said he was uncomfortable with everything he had seen and he doubted that Tiger would be protected but that there was nothing in the law to make it right.

What role did Colin Diamond play in the disbursements of Michael's assets?'

Other than some minor (approx. half million pound) pay outs to Paula Yates before her death, THERE HAVE BEEN NO DISBURSEMENTS - to the beneficiaries that is. That is the whole point. These men have no intention of giving up any of Michael's assets.

What is Colin Diamond's role in the disappearance of Michael's assets?

On top of selling off the properties, and depositing the revenue into off shore accounts, he and several others have been receiving Michael's royalty checks; twice yearly - hundreds of thousands of dollars since Michael died. Certainly they would say that they are not receiving the money, as it does not directly go to them. As with everything Mr Diamond touches it goes through a series of trust accounts belonging to Michael but controlled by him. Such is the game of hide and seek.

How does Diamond explain the missing assets?

He doesn't. He says they are still there they just don't belong in the estate.(?) Although Diamond made the orders to draw up a new will for Michael just 12 months before he took his life, he claims that there are no assets. Sydney barrister Andrew Young who set up the 1996 Will never answered why he would have drawn up a Will containing such generous amounts to charities, if his client was devoid of assets. Apparently the properties that we have all stayed in, the cars we have all driven over the years, and motorcycles Michael took each of us for rides on, are all figments of our imagination.

Has Diamond ever publicly defended himself - ie in court?

He has fought all court appearances. Diamond used a one off magazine called AXS (one which he and his associates listed themselves as editors) to give a very controlled interview in which he declared that the assets were still there. In other words after telling our attorneys that Michael owned nothing for two years, he boldly stated that yes the assets were Michael's but they were in discretionary trusts meaning he could decide if anyone gets anything. This included Tiger and her mother and it did not seem to us that Paula was doing anything to protect that little girl. There was no guarantee that anything would be there when she grew up. We frequently heard Belinda Brewin (Paula's friend) complain that Diamond was refusing to take care of them so it was very hard to understand why Paula refused to join the litigation.

Did Michael have any idea that he was in trouble financially?

Six months before Michael took his life when he called Patricia from Vienna and told her that he was worried about his finances, that something was wrong, we had no idea of the extent of the problem. We knew he had properties and ongoing royalties, what could be wrong? After he died it was very sad to come across a fax sent by Michael from the South of France to Diamond in New Zealand in which he told him that he had been dining out the previous evening with some business associates when his American Express had been declined. He demanded to know what was going on and instructed Diamond to take care of it immediately.

Why did you try to change the will?

When Colin Diamond flew out of the country instead of going to Michael's funeral, and refused to even take phone calls from the family, we became suspicious. When Stephen Diamond sent my mother a bill for both Diamonds' travel expenses to the funeral, along with the bill for Paula and her entourage round trip from London including their hotel bills we became angry. When we realized that the demand included the bill for the funeral including, limousines and security for people we didn't even know, we became furious. When we found out that both Diamonds had lied about Michael's wishes (both swore on a legal document that in his Will, Michael had requested to be cremated, later we found that the request had not been in his will) that is when we began legal proceedings. In fact, our original complaint had nothing to do with the estate. We wanted both Diamonds prosecuted for lying on a legal document and having Michael cremated when he had not requested this. We still think it highly suspicious that they did this, who are they to take charge of an important decision that should have been made by his parents. I think that goes far beyond taking care of a client's finances.

What was the litigation about?

We were joined by Amnesty International in litigation against 14 defendants to return the assets to the estate. That is all we asked, because we were certain that if the assets stayed in off shore trust accounts, controlled by these men that Michael's Will would not be settled and that Tiger's inheritance would be in jeopardy.

What happened to Michael's villa?

The French villa along with all of its' furniture, personal photographs, writings and books, even some of my mothers' personal effects, and the Aston Martin was sold to Adam Clayton of U2. The family was never asked if we wanted anything and never told about the sale.

Do you still have questions pertaining to the litigation?

I have many, although after pouring through hundreds of faxes pertaining to Michael's business I know the answers. There are just three questions:

  • Why did you have Michael draw up a will if there were no assets?

  • Why was Michael paying so much money for financial advisors if he didn't have any wealth?

  • Why would Michael list Diamond's children as beneficiaries to trusts, but not his own child.

How is it that with so much evidence you dropped the lawsuit against the 14 defendants?

It was a frustrating situation because we had overwhelming evidence on our side - for instance letters from the lead defendants to Michael referring to his house in London saying that it would cost him X amount of dollars to complete the renovation on his home. But to our attorneys they would say that he was only renting the house. This was just one of hundreds of pieces of paper which proved these properties belonged to Michael and therefore should form part of the estate which Tiger Lily would inherit. The defendants involved naturally fought every inch of the way to keep the assets out of the estate. They dragged it on for over two years while they sold the tangible assets and moved the cash from the United Kingdom to France to Liberia and from Australia to Hong Kong to BVI.

The problem was a legal system where attorneys do not work on a contingency basis and we had already spent over a half million dollars without even one day in court. There were 14 defendants, many of them attorneys themselves who knew all the tricks to avoid getting in a courtroom or even handing over the most mundane piece of paper and to that end we knew we could not commit ourselves to a courtroom.

We were advised to settle in mediation if we could not afford to stay in court for a minimum of six months. It was an angry time, and we had many sleepless nights - but we can honestly say that we are certain they had less sleep than us.

Did the authorities ever do anything about the Diamond brothers lying on the Statutory Declaration?

It was not until April 1998 when Colin Diamond returned to Australia for Tiger Lily's Christening that he and his attorney/friend Andrew Young presented themselves at a Sydney police station to answer questions about the Statutory Declaration. They took with them Michael's father Kell who told the authorities that he had requested cremation. Apparently that was enough for the detectives, it did not matter if the Diamonds had lied on a legal document, or that Michael's mother, brother and sister had not been consulted

They chose not to take it further.

Other books on Michael's Life

What do you think of the other books out there?

I think if you are going to write a book on someone else' life you should at least know that person very well personally, or speak in depth to the key people in his life. 

I won't even discuss two of them, which were full of stories virtually taken off the internet and out of magazines. But the Lovegrove book was supposed to be the official tribute to Michael's life when in fact Mr Lovegrove had only met Michael on the internet for a one off interview just months prior to him taking his life. There were key people who refused to speak with Mr Lovegrove, namely Michael's mother, Patricia, former girlfriends, Michele Bennett, Paula Yates, Kylie Minogue, Helena Christensen, Jonnie, and 'Blair', Bob Geldof and myself. Although he thanked us all in the back of the book along with others - even Michael's grandmother who had died 15 years previously.

There were many inaccuracies in the book and it attracted several lawsuits and its' publishers handed the rights back to Mr Lovegrove in order to distance themselves from any more legal problems. By the time we approached the publishers to bring a lawsuit they had stopped printing it.

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