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Monday, 17 June, 2002, 02:49 GMT 03:49 UK
Geldof urges custody laws change
Bob Geldof
Geldof won his custody battle with the late Paula Yates
Bob Geldof says British child custody laws must be ''scrapped" for not acting in the best interests of the child and for ''discriminating'' against fathers.

The father-of-four criticises laws which he says led to bitter experiences during his custody battle with his former wife, the late Paula Yates.

Speaking on ITV1's Tonight With Trevor McDonald, he says: "I wanted to have my children 50% of the time. In the end it came down to either myself or Paula."

The 50-year-old won custody of his three children from Yates in 1998 after they divorced.

The law is not so much biased towards the mother but very discriminatory against the father

Bob Geldof
"I waited a long time and I got tired of hearing how much Paula loved the children - which she did endlessly, as did I.

"I was handed a piece of paper saying 'you may see your children on this day and every second weekend'.

"Why? What had I done?

"I saw them every day, I took them to school, I bathed them, fed them, cooked for them ... Why now was the State and all its instruments of justice ... aimed at me?"

'Law inflexible'

Geldof says that from the outset of any case the mother is favoured regardless of the specific circumstances of a family.

He stresses that his comments are not anti-women, but that the law itself is ''fundamentally wrong''.

"It's not just a male agenda. I get women who take care of the children who can't understand ... how it (the law) can be so unjust towards other fathers," he says.

"The law in effect is not so much biased towards the mother but very discriminatory against the father - extremely so.

Paula Yates with Heavenly Hirani Tiger Lily, her daughter with INXS star Michael Hutchence
Paula Yates loved the children 'endlessly'
"I went through it and was exposed to it and I thought that it was just nonsensical.

"Up until now, women haven't gone out to work, men have gone out to work and they've provided and the women have nurtured.

"That social consensus has changed hugely since the time this law was drafted.

"The law is inflexible and worse in this case... it's fundamentally wrong.

"It should be scrapped and be rewritten."

The former Boomtown Rats singer won custody in 1998 of Fifi, 18, Peaches, 12, and Pixie, 11.

He also cares for five-year-old Tiger Lily, the daughter Yates had with INXS star Michael Hutchence, who is also now dead.

See also:

12 Jul 01 | Entertainment
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