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EDITIONS
 Sunday, 12 January, 2003, 12:14 GMT
Family shocked by Gibb death
Maurice Gibb
Maurice Gibb's family had been warned to expect the worst
Family and friends have spoken of their grief and devastation at the news of the death of Bee Gees star Maurice Gibb in Miami on Sunday.

"It's a huge shock to us all and completely unexpected...everyone is just devastated," Pete Bassett, a spokesman for Gibb's twin brother, Robin, said.

"There's just complete and utter shock. This is an unbelievable blow," Mr Bassett said.

There's just complete and utter shock. This is an unbelievable blow

Robin Gibb's spokesman

Robin was at Maurice's bedside after flying in from London just an hour before.

Also present were friends and other family members, including older brother Barry, wife Yvonne, and Maurice's children.

'Tormented soul'

The singer had briefly regained consciousness and recognised a number of relatives, but his condition later deteriorated and Maurice's relatives had been warned to expect the worse.

Robin (left) and Maurice Gibb in 2001
Robin was at Maurice's bedside when he died
"Everyone was just believing that Maurice was coming round and we woke up to this awful news," Mr Bassett said.

"It's just too shocking at this stage to think about.

"They have literally woken up to this and it's the worst possible news anyone could have expected from the day's events.

Friend David Most, who has worked with the Bee Gees for 16 years said the world had lost a "treasured member" of the song-writing fraternity.

"It's a shock, because we thought he was getting better," Mr Most told ITV.

"He did twiddle his toes, he held his daughter's hand, and squeezed it, his organs were all functioning, we thought, `it's the turning point', and then suddenly he went into a coma.

"It's terrible, absolutely terrible."

Chris Hutchins, a former press agent for the Bee Gees, said Gibb had a history of poor health, describing him as a "tormented soul".

"His drinking did upset his system, he was greatly weakened by what he put himself through, in terribly destructive years," he told BBC Radio 5 Live Breakfast.

Mr Hutchins also said Gibb's previous marriage to the British singer Lulu was ruined because of the star's drinking problems.

"His marriage to Lulu was torn apart by the fact the he did indulge in all these things to try to take the pain away, and stop what was going on in his mind.

Maurice Gibb

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21 Mar 01 | Music
22 Sep 99 | Entertainment
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