Michael Hutchence’s sister has opened up about the INXS frontman’s troubled relationship with Paula Yates.
Michael Hutchence’s sister has opened up about the INXS frontman’s troubled relationship with Paula Yates.

Moment that triggered INXS star’s tragic spiral

MICHAEL Hutchence's sister has opened up about the moment that triggered the late rock legend's tragic downward spiral, which ultimately resulted in his death in a Sydney hotel room 21 years ago.

Tina Hutchence, 70, spoke with Lisa Wilkinson on The Project about the media storm that surrounded the INXS singer's tumultuous relationship with British TV host Paula Yates - mother of his child, Tiger Lily - who died just three years after him.

Yates was in a long-term relationship with Boomtown Rats frontman Sir Bob Geldof when she met Hutchence, and when her affair with him became known, the public quickly sided with her "saint"-like estranged husband.

Yates and Hutchence were vilified over their affair following her split with Geldof (right).
Yates and Hutchence were vilified over their affair following her split with Geldof (right).

"[It was] combustible - they [Paula and Michael] could never be right," Ms Hutchence admitted, adding that her brother's portrayal in the tabloids as the villain who broke up a high-profile marriage weighed heavily on him in the years leading up to his suicide.

"That was shocking. That was when he really started to fall apart."

 

At the time of his death, Ms Hutchence claimed he was still suffering the effects of a physical clash he'd had with a taxi driver a few years earlier, during which he'd been pushed to the ground and left with a fractured skull. But his sister believes it had more lasting damage, and potentially caused a brain injury.

"Could you see he was spiralling down?" Wilkinson asked.

"Michael always walked very tall, stood up straight, he'd look you straight in the eye," she said.

"He was slumped [when I saw him], and I said, 'Something's wrong,' and he said, 'Oh, it's kind of tough lately. It's just hard, life is hard.'"

 

Michael, Tina and Rhett Hutchence. Picture: Supplied/Tina Hutchence
Michael, Tina and Rhett Hutchence. Picture: Supplied/Tina Hutchence

During the interview, Ms Hutchence also claimed that her brother's partner had "absolutely" been "doing drugs" while breastfeeding their newborn daughter, Tiger Lily, which contributed to turning the baby into "a docile little infant who slept all day".

"She was being breastfed, and I think she was getting whatever Paula was taking … and I don't know what Paula was doing," she said.

Ms Hutchence last spoke to Michael five days before he was found dead at the age of 37 inside a room at the Ritz-Carlton in Sydney, and revealed that their brother Rhett had called with the shocking news.

"As I was speaking to Rhett, I turned around to CNN, and it was showing shots of the police walking around the hotel outside of his room, and it read 'Michael Hutchence dead at 37'. It was surreal - at that moment in time, he just knew he wanted the hurt to stop."

 

If you are experiencing mental health issues or suicidal feelings contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or BeyondBlue 1300 224 636. If it is an emergency please call triple-0.


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