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Tuesday, August 10, 1999 Published at 15:18 GMT 16:18 UK


Paula challenges Hutchence verdict

Heartbroken Paula at the funeral of lover Hutchence

Television presenter Paula Yates is stepping up her battle to overturn the suicide verdict on the death of her lover, rock star Michael Hutchence.

Yates, 39, talks about the tragedy in a Channel 4 documentary In Excess: The Death Of Michael Hutchence, to be shown next week.

In it she repeats her suggestions that the INXS star did not kill himself while experts, friends and family examine the idea that he was involved in a sex game which went tragically wrong.

The Australian singer was found dead in a Sydney hotel room in November 1997, aged 37.

[ image: Dead INXS star Hutchence: investigation continues]
Dead INXS star Hutchence: investigation continues
The New South Wales coroner recorded a suicide but many believe Hutchence has been involved in a fatal sex act.

A Channel 4 spokesman said: "The film reveals crucial evidence available to both the police and the coroner which could have led to an alternative verdict."

Yates is interviewed along with the singer's brother Rhett and close friends about the circumstances surrounding Hutchence's death. Experts are also questioned about auto-erotic asphyxiation.

Rhett talks about Hutchence's appetite for sexual experimentation and says he was far from depressed and suicidal.

Yates describes how the birth of their daughter Heavenly Hiraani Tiger Lily had turned him into a devoted, loving father.

It is thought Yates feels that further investigations into Hutchence's death are crucial to the future well-being of herself and their daughter.

Legal proceedings

Meanwhile, members of the family of the singer are reported to be suing accountants in the search for missing royalties.

Lawyers for Hutchence's mother Patricia Glassop and his half-sister Tina Hutchence launched proceedings against the band's Sydney accountants in a Brisbane court last week, says the Sydney Morning Herald.

The women claim Hutchence's former financial adviser Colin Diamond and will executor Andrew Paul hid the rocker's assets in a complex web of offshore trusts to save tax.

The paper said the pair are seeking up to US$16m (£10m) in assets, including music royalty payments of an unspecified amount, to be included in his estate.

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