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Foong Woei Wan
The Sunday Times
Tuesday, Apr 15, 2014

Showbiz

Curse of the clan

The Sunday Times | Foong Woei Wan | Tuesday, Apr 15, 2014

Peaches Geldof died at her home in Kent, southern England at the age of 25.

When British columnist Peaches Geldof was found dead in her home in rustic Wrotham, Kent, on Monday, the scene was eeriely familiar.

Her baby boy, Phaedra, was next to her body, said The Sun newspaper. He will be one this month and his older brother, Astala, will be two.

Fourteen years ago, in 2000, when Geldof's mother, television host Paula Yates, died of a heroin overdose in her home in London, Yates' little girl and Geldof's half-sister, Tiger Lily, then four, was found near her body.

It was also the 10th birthday of Geldof's younger sister, Pixie.

Geldof's sudden death at age 25 has been shocking and baffling. The cause of her death has not been determined and police are awaiting the results of toxicology tests.

Yet the demise is not wholly surprising, in the context of a saga that has played out for years in the tabloids.

In 1995, Yates left her husband, benefit concert organiser Bob Geldof, for INXS singer Michael Hutchence, after she did an infamous interview with Hutchence on a bed, with her legs wrapped around his thigh.

Things soon turned tragic. Hutchence, 37, was found hanged by a belt in a hotel in Sydney in 1997, a year after he had Tiger Lily with Yates.

A coroner ruled that Hutchence had committed suicide but Yates said her lover had died of auto-erotic asphyxiation.

Afterwards, she never quite recovered from losing him.

She was 41 when she died. Peaches Geldof was 11 then, and her older sister, Fifi Trixibelle, 17.

In an interview with Grazia Daily last year, Geldof said: "Out of my sisters, I'm most like my mother. My father says that to me. I look like her and her personality has rubbed off on me."

In her teens, Geldof was keen to follow her parents' path into the limelight. She became a writer, model, DJ and, as she put it, "the poster girl for partying in London".

But she seemed to overhaul her lifestyle entirely, marrying rock musician Thomas Cohen in 2012, moving to Wrotham and becoming an advocate of attachment parenting.

In her last piece for Mother & Baby magazine published on Tuesday, she wrote that she was "happier than ever", after "having two fat little cherubs". Speaking to Grazia, she said motherhood "healed many things" in her.

Sadly, she has now succumbed to a fate too like her mother's.

SundayLife! looks at other famous families stalked by tragedy.

woeiwan@sph.com.sg

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