HK link to Hutchence cash puzzle

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 29 March, 1998, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 29 March, 1998, 12:00am

A HONG KONG barrister has been named as the central figure in a mystery over the fortune of late rock singer Michael Hutchence.

INXS front man Hutchence, who lived in Hong Kong between the ages of four and 12, and returned at the height of his fame to a luxury Tai Tam villa, killed himself in a Sydney hotel in November.

But houses, cars, property and cash all over the world, thought to belong to the multimillionaire, appear to have disappeared and lawyers have advised his family that Hutchence died technically bankrupt.

Barrister Gordon Fisher, of Des Voeux Chambers in the Bank of East Asia Building, Central, played a pivotal role in managing Hutchence's assets, according to The Sydney Morning Herald.

Mr Fisher was Hutchence's financial adviser until the pair had an acrimonious split in the late 1980s, and the job went to fellow barrister Colin Diamond - who divides his time between Hong Kong, Australia and New Zealand - and Hong Kong accountant Andrew Paul, the paper said.

It said both men retained close links with Mr Fisher.

Mr Fisher failed to return phone calls yesterday from the Sunday Morning Post but recently told a Post reporter: 'I don't speak to reporters' before hanging up.

Mr Diamond and Mr Paul were unable to be contacted.

The Herald reported most of Hutchence's assets - estimated to be worth more than A$20 million (HK$104 million) - were a maze of trusts and companies from Liberia through Europe and Asia to the British Virgin Islands. Many of the companies had either Mr Diamond or Mr Paul as a director, it said.

Mr Diamond is the trustee and both men are executors of Hutchence's will.

The will leaves half of the singer's estate to his daughter, Heavenly Hiraani Tiger Lily, and divides the remainder equally between his mother, father, sister, brother and his English lover Paula Yates.

But Hutchence's mother and sister say they have been told little of Hutchence's financial position and, because his assets are held in discretionary trusts, the beneficiaries may have no right to claim anything, the paper reported.

'We want to make sure that whatever wealth Michael accumulated in his life is distributed the way he wanted it and not the way other people want,' Hutchence's mother, Patricia Glassop, told the paper.