In a Channel 4 documentary, Tiger Lily Hutchence-Geldof reveals how she escaped her past
With her intense gaze and touch of smile, Tiger Lily Hutchence-Geldof has the unmistakable rock star swagger of her father, the late INXS frontman Michael Hutchence.
The 26-year-old has also inherited his musical talent. Last month, she quietly released her debut album, Tragic Tiger’s Sad Meltdown, a line taken from a headline about her in an Australian magazine.
And it’s that tongue-in-cheek title that speaks volumes about where her character comes from.
Because making fun of the media’s interest in her is, friends say, exactly what her late mother, Paula Yates, would have done.
This week, Paula’s legacy – as a mother, TV presenter, friend and lover – is once again in the spotlight in the wake of the two-part Channel 4 documentary, Paula.
Tiger Lily Hutchence-Geldof, pictured here in 2014, appears to have inherited musical talent from her late father, INXS frontman Michael Hutchence
NEW LIFE: Tiger Lily enjoying the beach in Australia Perth. She lives in the bohemian seaside town of Fremantle, south of Perth, where she started a career as a musician.
It wonders how her trailblazing but short life affected the people she loved — and if the toxic mix of drugs, alcohol, and grief that took her life took its toll, too.
‘Tragic Tiger’ certainly suffered unnecessarily. Only 16 months old when her father committed suicide in a Sydney hotel room, she was orphaned three years later when Paula, then 41 and consumed with grief, died of an ‘careless’ heroin overdose.
But – raised by Bob Geldof, Paula’s ex-husband and the father of her three older children – Tiger Lily seems to be following a much calmer and healthier path.
Now based in Hutchence’s native Australia, she lives in the bohemian seaside town of Fremantle, south of Perth, where she started a career as a musician.
Born Heavenly Hiraani Tiger Lily, she was always known as Tiger Lily, but prefers to go by the name Heavenly these days.
Her life is a paradise of surfing, meditation and yoga – a world away from the gritty London drug scene that killed her mother in 2000, and her half-sister Peaches, who also died of a heroin overdose aged 25, in 2014.
Tiger Lily was only four and alone in the house with her mother when she found Paula dead. She raised the alarm when a friend of Paula’s called and said she “couldn’t wake up Mum.”
The natural refuge for the little girl was Geldof’s house.
Tiger Lily was already well acquainted with the Boomtown Rats star and charity campaigner, having regularly stayed with him in the years following Hutchence’s death when Paula was struggling.
She also had a close relationship with her half-sisters: Fifi, now 39, Peaches, and Pixie, 32 (pictured)
She was also close to her half-sisters: Fifi, now 39, Peaches, and Pixie, 32. Tiger Lily and Fifi initially shared a bed and clung to each other in grief. Geldof became her legal guardian and officially adopted her in 2007, determined to take her far away from show business.
At her £12,000 a year sixth form class in South West London, she was known for her bohemian spirit, the only girl unafraid to let her armpit hair grow. Attempts to lure her into the London social scene like her sister Pixie – who is best friends with DJ Nick Grimshaw and model Daisy Lowe – failed.
After dabbling in acting and performing at a university in New York, she returned to London and studied for a degree at Goldsmiths College in South East London.
After graduating in 2019, she decided to move to Australia where she has privately reclaimed her Hutchence lineage and reconnected with his friends and family. It is said that she did not realize that Hutchence was her father until she was ten.
A source said that Tiger Lily had previously gotten in touch with his family and contacted Michael’s sister, Tina, through an intermediary in 2017.
Tina, a retired makeup artist living in California, had a broken relationship with Geldof and allegedly took legal action — ultimately unsuccessfully — to gain access to her niece when she was a baby.
Tina didn’t respond when she reached out this week. Tiger Lily also allegedly contacted her father’s INXS bandmates, including guitarist Tim Farriss, and some of her Australian cousins.
The desire to leave the United Kingdom and all its painful memories – especially the death of Peaches – behind is understandable.
Tiger Lily and Peaches were extremely close. A video posted online shows her playing the piano with Melisande Gutierrez, the daughter of Peaches’ best friend, Lily. And on her album notes, Tiger Lily reveals that “most” of the songs are about Peaches.
Pictured: As a baby with her parents Michael Hutchence and Paula Yates
“It was truly moving to create with such freedom and understanding,” she writes.
“Most of the songs are about my sister Peaches who I lost as a teenager, so singing it out loud felt really powerful, but my band always made me feel like I was being held.”
Sure, it’s in Australia that Tiger Lily felt brave enough to spread her wings as an artist. She was until recently in a relationship with Nick Allbrook, the former bassist of the Australian band Tame Impala, who works as a landscaper. She is now single and enjoys the alternative folk music scene locally, performing with friends in local bars in nearby Perth.
She notes, “I had always been shy about singing with others, but traveling the world and my ex-boyfriend Nick had given me some courage.
“Something about living closer to nature meant I felt creative and open-hearted. It was as if the wide open landscape of Australia had finally given my heart enough space to open up properly.’ Surprisingly, there is no fortune to support her new creative endeavors. She was intended to receive three lump sums, each of £12 million, from Hutchence’s estate when she turned 18, 21 and 25.
In that case, according to sources, there was money for education and nannies, but nothing else. And Geldof has always been very clear that he expects his children to support themselves as adults. As Fifi said, “There is no gilded lily. Dad was raised to make his own money and he taught us that.’
Filmmaker Richard Lowenstein, who met Tiger Lily in 2019, said: ‘The one thing she’s quite disturbed about, I think, is that there doesn’t seem to be any legal acknowledgment or even financial acknowledgment that she belongs to her father. daughter. The whole estate is gone.
“I told her, ‘Maybe it will come to you when you’re 25,’ but she just stopped laughing and said she’d given up now. It’s literally gone.’
Hutchence’s estate and his trust were managed by his former lawyer and Tiger Lily’s godfather, Colin Diamond, who has said that Hutchence’s wealth was “eaten up by parties, gifts and huge legal bills,” meaning he died penniless.
Lowenstein added, “She met [him] and he handed her an envelope with £500 (AUD$900) in it and said, “Please, that will win you over.” I think Bob shook his head in disgust and they both just walked off.”
Lowenstein said he was happy to have been able to give her an acoustic guitar that had belonged to her father, which left her “incredibly excited.”
What about her remaining sisters, Fifi and Pixie? Fifi, the eldest of the Yates-Geldof girls, like Tiger Lily, is not one for the spotlight. Now 39, she lives quietly in the London suburbs with husband Andrew Robertson and their many dogs.
She has suffered from depression for much of her life, sparked during her parents’ abusive divorce.
Fifi was not on good terms with Paula when she died, and suggests her mother’s drinking and drug use may have been to blame.
She once told an interviewer, “We had a stormy relationship, to say the least. I don’t think I knew her that well.
“If the situation that was going on then — I won’t go into it — was going on today, the not talking would happen again. I don’t regret it and I still don’t.’
She had a wild period after her A-levels, after Paula’s death. “I absolutely lost my s*** for about a year. There was a lot of drinking and drugs.
“I was a silly, hurt, stupid, reckless teenager. I really believe that if I hadn’t met my ex-boyfriend when I was 19 or 20 I would be dead by now.’
Sister Pixie lives in North London with her husband, the drummer George Barnett, and their daughter, who was born in 2021. She has had a long modeling career, supports marine conservation and has also worked as a DJ.
Her circle of friends includes Harry Styles and Princess Eugenie (she was a guest at Eugenie’s wedding).
A friend says, “I think she’s sober. I heard that a while ago. She’s all the way through the showbiz scene and hardly ever goes out.”
No one seems ready to make the same mistakes as their mother and sister.
And for Tiger Lily, who lived in the shadow of such a tragedy, the “sad meltdown” may never come.
That may be the best possible legacy Paula can hope for.