I'll talk about my Gerry on my own terms - Melanie

Kevin Doyle

GERRY Ryan's partner Melanie Verwoerd has vowed to speak out about the star's death on her own terms after declining to take part in an RTE documentary.

The UNICEF Ireland boss today said that she will wait for "a more appropriate time" to honour "my Gerry".

Last night's TV tribute to the broadcaster featured the thoughts of his friends and family, but did not include any contribution from Ms Verwoerd.

She explained that she was only invited to take part in the documentary two days before the shocking inquest into Gerry's death.

In a statement issued through her solicitors, she said that the programme producers left her just a one-week window to be interviewed.

"I first became aware of the documentary in late May, and wanted to give an interview to honour Gerry and our relationship. This has not changed," she said.

"However, due to production deadlines, I was informed that the interview had to be filmed five days after the inquest.

"Given this short timeframe, I did not feel emotionally or physically ready to give such a personal interview."

She added: "I will therefore honour my Gerry and our relationship at a more appropriate time in the future."

An RTE spokesman said that Ms Verwoerd declined an offer to appear "for her own reasons". "My understanding is that the offer remained open throughout the production period," he said.

Since her partner's death, Ms Verwoerd has given just one interview to Marian Finucane on RTE radio but that was before the cocaine revelations.

It is now expected that she will speak further in the coming months, although the format of such an interview is unclear.

Viewers saw Ryan's close confidant Fr Brian D'Arcy say that people like Gerry who consume illegal drugs are "part of criminal activity".

Fr D'Arcy was the only one of the star's friends to deal with the findings of his inquest.

But pals did tell of the tension between Ryan and his employer and the stress of his marital breakdown.

Pat Kenny complained that RTE didn't treat him properly in the race to host the Late Late Show last year.

"Either they should have made an act of faith and given him the job, or told him in advance it wasn't going to happen. I think the process may have hurt him far more than rejection," said Kenny.