Bob Geldof's ex-wife, Paula Yates, found dead in her home.
Orphaned daughter found Paula Yates dead. - 5:46 AM ET September 18, 2000

By Sinead O'Hanlon

LONDON (Reuters) - British television personality Paula Yates, who died at the weekend, was found in bed by her four-year-old daughter, media reported Monday.

Heavenly Hiraani Tiger Lily, Yates' child by dead rock star Michael Hutchence, answered the phone to a family friend and said she could not wake her mother up, several newspapers said.

"It was absolutely tragic. The little girl appeared to have no idea her mum was dead and had been pleading with her to wake up," a police source was quoted as saying in The Sun tabloid.

Yates' death leaves Tiger Lily an orphan and came on the 10th birthday of her second-youngest daughter, Pixie.

Police have refused to speculate about the cause of Yates' death until a post-mortem later Monday. But they said there was no sign of violence.

Tiger Lily's father and the love of Yates' life, INXS singer Michael Hutchence, committed suicide in a Sydney hotel room in 1997.

Family and friends said Yates never got over the death of Hutchence, refusing to believe that he could have taken his own life and left his daughter fatherless.

It plunged her into a spiral of grief and depression from which she never recovered. Yates reportedly kept his ashes in a pillow on her bed.

Hutchence committed suicide soon after Yates lost custody of her three elder daughters -- Fifi Trixibelle, 17, Peaches 11, and Pixie 10, -- to ex-husband Bob Geldof, former singer with the Boomtown Rats.

Fifi Trixibelle visited her mother's house Sunday. She laid a bunch of flowers outside and picked up and cuddled her mother's cat.

"We are all so sad. The loss for all the children is insupportable," Geldof said in a brief statement released to the media.

FAMOUS WILD CHILD

Yates found fame in the 1980s on Channel 4 television's music program "The Tube" and later starred on "The Big Breakfast," in which she invited famous people into bed for early-morning interviews.

But she was just as well known for her love affairs, in particular for having pursued Geldof at the age of 17. They went on to marry and stayed married for 18 years. They split up in 1995 after Yates took up with Hutchence.

Yates grew up in a showbiz family as the daughter of Jess Yates, who presented a religious TV show, Stars Sunday.

In 1997 she said that DNA testing showed Yates had not been her father after all, but Hugie Green, the star of the game show Opportunity Knocks, although her mother denied it.

British tabloids devoted pages to her death, paying tribute to a woman who lived her life in the full glare of the media spotlight.

Friends and family expressed a mixture of shock and a sense of inevitability about the death.

"I feel so sad for my little granddaughter, Tiger Lily. I don't know what we will do now about the guardianship of Tiger Lily . I will have to talk to my lawyers," Michael Hutchence's father Kel told The Mirror.

Yates' mother Helene Thornton-Bosment, who had not seen her daughter for several years, told the paper she was devastated.

"My thoughts are with her children, and particularly her youngest child who is now an orphan.

Reuters/Variety

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