Like rock n roll royalty, Tiger Lily is getting familiar with being hounded by the press.
Tiger Lily Geldof Hutchence presents the media with a problem.
A fresh-faced 19-year old from a prominent public family – she’s a sure-fire magazine seller. The face of a million clicks.
But Tiger Lily Geldof Hutchence is a problem because, so far in her short life, she has never played along.
She has deliberately chosen to be out of the spotlight.
“Tiger” has never wanted to be in the public arena, she has never invited media attention, her family have never exposed her to the press, she’s never courted social media fame, has never beckoned the lens of the paparazzi like so many other 19-year olds of notable lineage – she has never asked to be splashed across the gossip magazines and tabloid news sites of the world.
And yet here she is.
In the past two weeks we have seen countless pictures of the 19-year old in a purple bikini. We’ve read analysis of her “beach body,” descriptions of how she had “blossomed” and captions of her “cavorting” on a French beach.
And then there was THAT photo. The photo that depicted this 19-year old as not just a blossoming beach beauty – but as a scarlet woman.
Did you see it? It was a photo that could be interpreted in two ways. An image of Tiger Lily and the husband of her dead half sister Peaches Geldof, Thomas Cohen.
Cohen is father to Tiger’s two little nephews, Pheadra and Astala. One hand you could see the photos (which Mamamia has chosen not to publish) as a sweet moment between a brother and-sister-in law who are bonded by grief. A simple, tender embrace.
Through another lens – a twisted lens – you could see it as salacious. You could see it as bawdy and indecent. You could see her as committing some of betrayal to her late sister.
The image – of Tiger Lily embracing her 25-year old brother in-law while they were swimming was splashed across the media this week. Its accompanying text was deliberately provocative – she was “seeking comfort” in Cohen’s arms.
One report featured no less than 58 images of the bikini clad 19-year old.
She and Cohen were described as being “close” and “tactile.” She was photographed right up close to him, lips just inches from his, legs wrapped around his body.
Those who chose to comment put words to the insinuations – of course – because it was hard not to. The sub-text being that Tiger Lily was doing more than just “hugging” the father-of-two.
“I knew these two were having an affair. I could tell by their body language in all the pictures right after her death” was the tone of the comments in their hundreds underneath each and every article.
But if you kept reading, the pictures might seem more innocent.
Hidden deep in the verbiage was the fact that Tiger Lily’s boyfriend, Charlie Creseatian, was there, on that very beach too, but strangely no tabloid seemed interested in promoting that fact.
It’s not that surprising that the tabloids sent paps to track down Tiger on holiday. Her whole family has provided acres of stories for them over 30-plus years. But their determination to stir up a scandal has a sinister intention.
Because if Tiger is perceived to be doing something “wrong”, the public’s sympathy will shift, and she will take on an air of tabloid “fair game”.
If she truly was having a fling with her late sister’s husband, the media will no longer need to feel guilty about harassing her.
But that twisted logic defies the fact that in her short life, Tiger Lily has already suffered more tragedy than any grown-up human should expect.
Tiger Lily was born in 1996, just one year and four months before the tragic death of her father Michael Hutchence and four years before the death of her mother Paula Yates.
The deaths of her parents created the narrative of the little lost orphan – one of our favourite fictional characters – and we hungrily lapped up the ongoing saga of a custody battle between Hutchence’s Australian family and Bob Geldof, Paul Yates’ ex-husband and father to Tiger-Lily’s three half-sisters Peaches, Pixie and Trixibelle Geldof.
When mum-of-two Peaches Geldolf died in April 2014, we all devoured the tragic details – the drugs, the children, the widower. What else could possibly happen to this family? It’s like we are all subconsciously willing another act.
Tiger Lily, clearly, doesn’t want to play in our sordid soap opera. She doesn’t fall out of nightclubs and pose at glamorous openings. Her social media accounts are private, she has never given an interview.
So the solution for a hungry media pack? Make her public property by casting her into the spotlight as a vixen – that way she becomes fair game. We love a celebrity downfall.
But this family has fallen enough for our macabre entertainment. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if Tiger was boring enough to live a quiet life, unbothered by our curiosity. She isn’t Kim Kardashian, who makes a living by being highly visible at all times. She isn’t Lara Bingle, subsidised her modelling income by colluding with paparazzi photographers when it suited her. Both of those women, it’s worth noting, invited cameras into their homes for reality shows, breaching their own privacy.
Tiger Lily has, so far, tried to stay off our radar.
Wouldn’t it be a wonderful tribute to her tragic history to honour her wish?
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