Friday 26 December 2014

'Peaches is dead. We are beyond pain' – Bob Geldof

Martin Evans, Hannah Furness and James Edgar

Published 08/04/2014 | 02:30

Peaches Geldof, daughter of Bob Geldof (inset), pictured in 2012
Peaches Geldof, daughter of Bob Geldof (inset), pictured in 2012
Bob Geldof with daughters Pixie and Peaches in 2003
Peaches at a New York City fashion show in September 2011. Picture: Astrid Stawiarz/Getty
Peaches Geldof and baby Astala
Peaches Geldof and ex-husband Max Drummey attend a party to celebrate the launch of Peaches Geldof's PPQ collection, at Movida on November 27, 2008 in London, England.
Peaches Geldof attends The BRIT Awards 2014 at 02 Arena on February 19, 2014 in London, England
Bob Geldof and Paula Yates with baby Peaches and older sister Fifi in 1989.
Peaches Geldof and Tom Cohen got married in Kent
Peaches and Tom's sons Astala Dylan Willow, two, and Phaedra Bloom Forever, four-months old relax on the couch. (Photo: Instagram/ Peaches Geldof)
Peaches Geldof arriving for the 2014 NME Awards, at Brixton Academy, London
Peaches Geldof
Peaches at the premiere of 'The Dark Knight' in 2012
Peaches with her mum Paula Yates
Police officers attend the home of Peaches Geldof in Wrotham, Kent.
A swing made from a tyre is seen in the grounds of the house of Peaches Geldof. Photo: Reuters/Olivia Harris
The house of Peaches Geldof is seen the day after she was found dead at her home near Wrotham, southern England. Photo: Reuters/Olivia Harris
A childrens play area is seen in the grounds of the house of Peaches Geldof the day after she was found dead at her home near Wrotham, southern England. Photo: Reuters/Olivia Harris
A police officer stands outside the house of Peaches Geldof. Photo: Reuters/Olivia Harris

PEACHES Geldof posted a poignant online image of herself as a child in her late mother's arms just hours before she was found dead at her home.

In a tragedy that echoes her mother Paula Yates's premature death 14 years ago, the middle daughter of Bob Geldof died at just 25 years of age.

Police were called to her home in Wrotham, Kent, around lunchtime after the alarm was raised by a concerned relative.

Officers and paramedics who entered the secluded rural property set in woodland were unable to revive her, and she was pronounced dead at the scene.

A spokesman for Kent Police said her death was being treated as an unexplained sudden death but was not suspicious.

Bob Geldof said he could not see how his family could ever get over the loss of such a "beautiful child".

In a heartbreaking statement, he said: "Peaches has died. We are beyond pain. She was the wildest, funniest, cleverest, wittiest and the most bonkers of all of us."

President Michael D. Higgins, who is starting an historic State visit to Britain this morning, said: "I extend my deepest sympathies to Bob Geldof and his family on the sudden and untimely death of his daughter Peaches.  

"This is such a difficult cross to bear for any family and all of our thoughts are with Peaches' family and friends at this time. 

"Sabina and I were due to meet Bob Geldof while on the State visit and we are thinking of him at this time of immense loss."

Her death is the latest tragedy to befall the Geldof family, which was devastated in September 2000 when Paula Yates, the mother of Fifi, Pixie, Tiger and Peaches, was found dead at her London home following a heroin overdose.

Ms Yates, who was 41, had herself never fully recovered from the apparent suicide in 1997 of her lover Michael Hutchence, the lead singer of the Australian band INXS.

In her last message on Twitter, Peaches included a link to the picture of her with a smiling Yates and the words 'me and my mum'.

Broadcaster and close friend Gay Byrne said Bob Geldof "must feel like he is staring into a bottomless pit of despair".

"It is an appalling trauma for any parent to go through," Byrne said.

In recent years, Peaches had shaken off the wildchild image of her youth and was a devoted mother to two sons with her second husband, rock singer Thomas Cohen.

She posted almost daily updates on Astala Dylan Willow and Phaedra Bloom Forever, who this month are due to celebrate their second and first birthdays respectively.

Cohen said he would raise the boys with "their mother in their hearts every day".

He said: "My beloved wife Peaches was adored by myself and her two sons Astala and Phaedra and I shall bring them up with their mother in their hearts everyday. We shall love her forever."

Peaches Geldof gave birth to a baby boy called Phaedra on Wednesday
Peaches Geldof gave birth to a baby boy called Phaedra on Wednesday
Peaches Geldof, second daughter of musician Bob Geldof and Paula Yates, has died aged 25
Peaches and Tom's sons Astala Dylan Willow, two, and Phaedra Bloom Forever, four-months old relax on the couch. (Photo: Instagram/ Peaches Geldof)
Astala and Phaedra
Peaches Geldof (right) and Thomas Cohen (left) attending The Wolf of Wall Street UK premiere at the Odeon Leicester Square, London. Ian West/PA Wire
Thomas and Astala
Peaches with her father Bob Geldof
Peaches Geldof attends the ETAM show as part of the Paris Fashion Week Womenswear Fall/Winter 2014-2015 on February 25, 2014 in Paris, France
Fifi Geldof, Heavenly Hiraani Tiger Lily Hutchence Geldof, Pixie Geldof and Peaches Geldof (Photo by J.Tregidgo/WireImage)
Peaches Geldof attends The BRIT Awards 2014 at 02 Arena on February 19, 2014 in London, England
Peaches Geldof arriving for the 2014 NME Awards, at Brixton Academy, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday February 26, 2014. Photo credit should read: Yui Mok/PA Wire
Peaches Geldof
Peaches regularly shares photos of her kids online. Her son Phaedra is pictured here. (Photo: Instagram/ Peaches Geldof)
Peaches Geldof and Tom Cohen got married in Kent
Paris Hilton and Peaches Geldof arrives for the amfAR Cinema Against AIDS 2009 benefit at the Hotel du Cap during the 62nd Annual Cannes Film Festival on May 21, 2009
Peaches attended the funeral of Bob's dad in Dublin with the rest of the family 4 years ago.
Peaches Geldof and ex-husband Max Drummey attend a party to celebrate the launch of Peaches Geldof's PPQ collection, at Movida on November 27, 2008 in London, England.
Pregnant Peaches Geldof
Bob Geldof and Paula Yates at Funderland
PAULA YATES
London Fashion Week...Peaches Geldof (left) outside the Natural History Museum in west London
Bob Geldof and daughters Peaches (left) and Pixie, arriving at The Odeon Leicester Square, London
Model and socialite Peaches Geldof
Actress Paula Yates, the former wife of Bob Geldof and lover of INXS front man Michael Hutchence, died of an accidental heroin overdose in the year 2000.
Pippa Middleton (second right) and Peaches Geldof (second left) at the Temperley London show at the British Museum as part of London Fashion Week
Bob Geldof and Paula Yates with baby Peaches and older sister Fifi in 1989.
Model and socialite Peaches Geldof
Socialite Peaches Geldof
A younger Peaches Geldof
Peaches Geldof (L) and Thomas Cohen pose for photographers at the Moet & Chandon Etoile Award for Mario Testino at the Park Lane Hotel in London, England
Peaches Geldof has died at the age of 25
Pixie (left) and Peaches Geldof arrive at the UK premiere of 'Derailed', at the Curzon Mayfair, central London
Peaches (right) and Pixie Geldof showing off their Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix books outside Waterstone's in London's Piccadilly following the midnight release of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Bob Geldof arrives back at his home in Chelsea, with daughters Peaches (middle) and Pixie (right)
Peaches Geldof, who has died at the age of 25
Peaches Geldof attends TRESemme at Rebecca Minkoff Spring 2012 show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week at The Studio at Lincoln Center on September 12, 2011 in New York City
Peaches Geldof, second daughter of musician Bob Geldof and Paula Yates, has died aged 25
Peaches Geldof and Thomas Cohen attend the Moschino cheap&chic show during London Fashion Week Fall/Winter 2013/14 at The Savoy Hotel on February 16, 2013
F Peaches Geldof attends the Jeremy Scott Spring 2012 fashion show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week at Milk Studios on September 14, 2011 in New York City
Peaches Geldof attends the Philipp Plein fashion show as part of Milan Fashion Week Womenswear Autumn/Winter 2011 on February 26, 2011 in Milan, Italy

HALF-SISTER

The death of Peaches means that her half-sister Heavenly Hiraani Tiger Lily, at the age of 17, has lost her elder sister, as well as dad Michael Hutchence and her mum Paula Yates.

Peaches' father Bob (62), the Dun Laoghaire-born Boomtown Rats frontman who masterminded the Live Aid concerts, was stricken with grief.

His statement said: "What a beautiful child. How is this possible that we will not see her again? How is that bearable?

"We loved her and will cherish her forever. How sad that sentence is. Tom and her sons Astala and Phaedra will always belong in our family, fractured so often, but never broken."

As the daughter of rock royalty, Peaches, was the very epitome of a wildchild, first marrying American musician Max Drummey in Las Vegas and then splitting up less than six months later. She was a regular fixture on the party scene and admitted having experimented with drugs despite what happened to her mother.

Although she grew up in the UK, Peaches had spoken about her "Irishness" and how she identified with dad's side of the family as well as mum.

She said: "I'm half-Irish. I definitely feel the Irishness in me. It's the 'Gangs of New York' in me – the brawler."

In an interview last autumn she described how she had never fully recovered from the divorce of her parents when she was six and her mother's untimely death, five years later.

She said: "I remember the day my mother died, and it's still hard to talk about it. I went to school the next day because my father's mentality was 'keep calm and carry on'.

"So we all went to school and tried to act as if nothing had happened. But it had happened.

"I didn't grieve. I didn't cry at her funeral. I couldn't express anything because I was just numb to it all. I didn't start grieving for my mother properly until I was maybe 16."

But in recent years it appeared that she had finally begun to find some peace and she began to slowly change her image, appearing on TV and writing about motherhood.

She won accolades and fans for a slot on the 'This Morning' sofa, in which she debated the merits of attachment parenting and co-sleeping with Katie Hopkins.

She had just been signed as a columnist for 'Mother and Baby' magazine, in which she wrote her really early years of attachment parenting had "saved me from losing it".

Her second column is due to be published in the latest issue of the magazine, out today.

Following the birth of her first child she spoke of how it felt like she had been reborn.

Ryan Tubridy interviewed Peaches in 2008 for his former late night chat show 'Tubridy Tonight' and described her as a "smart, well adjusted, clever and quirky young woman."

"I find it all deeply unsettling," Tubridy said. "She was an exceptionally articulate and warm character. My heart goes out to Bob."

His was among hundreds of messages of support and sympathy that poured in for the Geldof family through social media, the radio and television.

Last night, police officers stood guard in the pouring rain at the entrance to the driveway of Ms Geldof's home.

Two police vans were parked alongside two police cars at the two-storey manor house.

Lights were switched on both downstairs and upstairs, while officers were seen going in and out of a converted outhouse.

Radio host Dave Fanning attended Blackrock College at the same time as Bob and remembers Peaches fondly.

"I've known Bob years but only met Peaches twice; when she was toddler and again when she was 12," he said.

"I know just how good a father Bob was. It is ludicrously sad. This will hit him harder than you can imagine."

FULL STATEMENT FROM BOB GELDOF

“Peaches has died. We are beyond pain. She was the wildest, funniest, cleverest, wittiest and the most bonkers of all of us.

“Writing 'was' destroys me afresh. What a beautiful child.

“How is this possible that we will not see her again? How is that bearable? We loved her and will cherish her forever. How sad that sentence is.

“Tom and her sons Astala and Phaedra will always belong in our family, fractured so often, but never broken. Bob, Jeanne, Fifi, Pixie and Tiger Geldof.”

Irish Independent

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