Tiger Lily’s heavenly escape to Fremantle screams joy amid Paula Yates’ documentary


With her fierce gaze and insinuating smile, Tiger Lily Hutchence-Geldof has the unmistakable rock star status of her father, the late INXS Michael Hutchence.

The 26-year-old also inherited his musical talent. Last month, she quietly released her debut album, Tragic Tiger’s Sad Meltdown, a phrase borrowed from a headline about her in New Idea magazine.

And it is this title that speaks volumes about the provenance of her character. Friends say joking about the media’s interest in her is exactly the kind of thing 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 British documentary, Paula.

He wonders how her pioneering but short life has affected those she loves–and whether the toxic mix of drugs, alcohol, and grief that killed her has affected them, too.

Michael Hutchence with Tiger Lily Hutchence.  Photo: Seven
camera iconMichael Hutchence with Tiger Lily Hutchence. credit: unknown/supplied / seven

Sure enough, the Tragic Tiger suffered needlessly. She was just 16 months old when her father killed himself in a Sydney hotel room, and she was orphaned three years later when Paula, a grieving 41-year-old, died after an “incautious” heroin overdose.

But — after being raised by Bob Geldof, Paula’s ex-husband and father of her three oldest children — Tiger Lily appears to be following a quieter, healthier path.

She now lives in Fremantle, where she began her career as a musician.

Born Heavenly Hiraani Tiger Lily, she was always known as Tiger Lily but today prefers to use the name Heavenly.

Her life is a surfing, meditation and yoga paradise — a world away from London’s gritty drug scene that killed her mother in 2000, and half-sister Peaches, who also died of a heroin overdose at age 25, in 2014.

Tiger Lily Hutchence performs at Barbes Perth.
camera iconTiger Lily Hutchence performs at Barbes Perth. credit: Photographer Keith Mitchell/Photographer Keith Mitchell

Tiger Lily was only four years old, alone at home with her mother, when she found Paula dead. She raises the alarm when a friend of Paula’s calls, telling her she “can’t wake Mummy up”.

Geldof’s house was a natural refuge for the girl. Tiger Lily already knows the Boomtown Rats star and philanthropist well, always sticking with him when Paula was struggling in the years after Hutchence’s death.

She was also close with her half-sisters: Fifi, now 39, Peaches, and Pixie, 32. Tiger Lily and Fifi first shared a bed, clinging to each other in grief. Geldof became her legal guardian and officially adopted her in 2007, intent on raising her out of the show business limelight.

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