kids

"It's literally gone." Decades after Michael Hutchence's death, Tiger Lily still hasn't received a cent of her inheritance.

Tiger Lily Hutchence was just 16 months old when her father, INXS frontman Michael Hutchence, passed away in November 1997.

By then, the world had already come to know the little girl who was often seen perched on the hip of her mother, Paula Yates.

But in the years since the legendary Australian performer ended his own life, the only daughter of the late INXS singer has largely managed to avoid the spotlight.

Earlier this year, new documentary Mystify: Michael Hutchence will delve into the life and relationships of the late singer.

The four women in Michael Hutchence’s life. Post continues after podcast. 

Richard Lowenstein, who created the documentary and directed a number of film clips for INXS, met with Hutchence’s reclusive daughter Tiger Lily at her London apartment to show the now 22-year-old the first cut of the documentary.

Speaking to Mamamia’s podcast No Filter, the director described Tiger Lily’s initial thoughts on the film.

“She has her very own personal way of dealing [with loss],” Lowenstein told Mamamia, on Tiger Lily losing both her mother and father at a young age.

“When she did look at the rough cut of the film, she got very emotionally involved in it largely because there was a whole side to Michael she’d never heard of,” he continued.

“I think she was incredibly thankful that in one easy-to-digest package, there was a whole lot of stuff about her dad that she felt now she could connect with, including his music.

“She did say after viewing the film, ‘I’d prefer not to do that again’, because it does bring up not just emotions about her dad, but that story brought a lot of changes into her life. Although it brought her into being, it came with a whole lot of repercussions.”

Michael Hutchence Tiger Lily
Michael Hutchence and Tiger Lily. Image: Channel 7.
ADVERTISEMENT

Lowenstein was also able to give Tiger Lily some of her father's items – something she had never really had before.

"I was lucky enough in the research for the film to come across one of his acoustic guitars with all the very classic Michael stickers over it and a battered road case," Lowenstein told Mamamia.

"He could barely play guitar but he still had an acoustic guitar. So I ended up giving it to her and she was just so happy to have that connection to his music," he added. "She was incredibly thrilled."

On the latest episode of No Filter, Lowenstein also shared that Tiger Lily still hasn't received a cent from her father's estate.

"She's living like a student in a share house [in London], it's very similar to a scene in [Michael Hutchence's film] Dogs in Space," Lowenstein explained.

Watch the trailer for Mystify: Michael Hutchence below. Post continues after video.

"The one thing she is, I believe, quite disturbed about is that there doesn't seem to be any legal acknowledgement or even financial acknowledgment that she is her father's daughter. The entire estate has been stolen," he added.

"I was saying to her, 'maybe it's still going to come to you when you're 25', but she just stopped laughing and said that she's given up on that now. It's literally gone."

Tiger Lily was due to inherit a share of her father's estate when she turned 21 last year. So far, she hasn't received a cent.

In 2017, it was reported on ABC'Four Corners that Hutchence's estate and his trust was controlled by his former lawyer, and Tiger Lily's godfather, Colin Diamond.

At the time, Diamond was outed in the biggest ever leak of secret documents outlining the offshore dealings of politicians, celebrities and world leaders in the so-called Paradise Papers. Among them were documents detailing how the late INXS singer's lawyer Diamond owned the rights to the singer's work.

ADVERTISEMENT

Michael's brother Rhett Hutchence also alleged on Four Corners that Diamond exploited his brother's assets immediately after his death.

michael hutchence and paula yates 1996
Michael Hutchence and Paula Yates. Image: Getty.

"Ultimately the end result of [the Paradise Papers] was that there is nothing left for [Tiger]," Lowenstein explained.

"She said she met up with that dodgy accountant and he handed her an envelope with £500 (AUD$900) in it and said, 'there you go girly, that will tide you over'. I think Bob shook his head in horror and they both just walked out saying, 'we're never going to get any of that'," he said.

"On top of that, she doesn't seem the be the recipient of the INXS percentages either. There's been no communication there. We know that the dodgy accountant hasn't been receiving the royalties for quite a while because they've been stopped, but where do they all go?

"I know that when we paid her a licence fee for her dad's solo recordings – I think it was four songs we used in the film – it was a nice chunk of money for a kid her age and she was so grateful. She said, 'This is the first money I've ever received from my dad's artistic endeavors'.

"I honestly don't know where [the money] is gone. The band members don't seem to deal with it."

Hutchence's older sister, Tina, also claims Tiger Lily and the rest of the family haven't received their share of Hutchence's missing fortune.

"We feel swindled," Tina told the Daily Mail.

"The estate paid for Tiger's school, nanny and upkeep until she turned 18, but the big payments she was supposed to receive at different stages of her life, when she turned 18 and 21, never arrived. My response to that is, 'How dare they?'" Tina said.

ADVERTISEMENT

"My brother worked with INXS for 20 years and he wanted to leave money for his daughter and family but none of us have seen a penny," she added.

Tina's book, Michael, My Brother, Lost Boy Of INXS, will be published in the UK in January.

Paula Yates Peaches Geldof
Paula Yates and Michael Hutchence with Paula's children. Image: Getty.

Before meeting Michael Hutchence, Tiger Lily's mother, British TV host Paula Yates had three daughters – Fifi, Peaches and Pixie – with legendary Boomtown Rats singer Bob Geldof.

But when Yates left Geldof for the Australian icon, the world became fascinated by the couple's scandalous love story.

In the years that Michael Hutchence and British TV host Paula Yates were together, the pair were international celebrity royalty, appearing on the covers of magazines and popping up in the front rows at fashion shows.

But only three years after Hutchence was found dead in a hotel room (which Yates claimed was auto-erotic asphyxiation gone wrong, not a suicide), friends became concerned for Yates’ wellbeing when four-year-old Tiger Lily answered the phone.

Just hours later, Yates was found dead in her Notting Hill home from an accidental drug overdose.

At just four years old, Tiger Lily was an orphan – and one of the world's most famous orphans at that.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

Driftwood scavengers ????

A post shared by Kate Bellm (@katebellm) on

ADVERTISEMENT

Although Hutchence's mother and sister fought to have Tiger Lily live with them in Australia, the young girl was controversially adopted by her mother's ex husband and father of her three sisters, Bob Geldof.

Tiger Lily's siblings, including Pixie Geldof, certainly weren't strangers to the spotlight, but little was seen or heard about Tiger Lily through her teenage years.

It's believed for much of Tiger Lily's younger years, she did not know that Geldof was not her biological father.

Fifi, Peaches, Pixie and Tiger Lily
Fifi, Peaches, Pixie and Tiger Lily. Image: Getty.

In fact, it wasn't until Hutchence's mother, Patricia Glassop, showed her granddaughter a number of old INXS music videos when she visited Australia in 2006, that Tiger Lily learned that the band's frontman was her father.

ADVERTISEMENT

Right up until her death, Glassop accused Geldof of doing all he could to erase Hutchence’s memory from his daughter.

In an interview at the time of the custody request Glassop said, “I think he is Satan. I think he is cruel, very cruel to keep her from her family. I am not allowed to speak to her on the phone. He’s even changed the phone number.”

Shortly before her death Glassop said in a interview, “I’ve begged and pleaded with him to let me see Tiger Lily again, but he’s turned a deaf ear. He’s treated me shabbily.”

Late last year, it was reported the 22-year-old was dating 30-year-old Nicholas Allbrook, a former member of Australian band Tame Impala.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Nicholas Allbrook (@niqueallbrook) on

“A year since my favourite person came shnufflin into my life,” Allbrook wrote in an Instagram post last September.

Speaking to Mamamia, Lowenstein said that Tiger Lily has just graduated from a psychology degree.

"When I met her in London she was doing work experience in prisons, talking to murderers and things, but she was complaining more about the social workers she was working with and how they were sexist rather than the prisoners themselves," he said.

Mystify: Michael Hutchence will be released in Australian cinemas on July 4.

For more on this topic:

00:00 / ???