Hutchence's fortune is gone, HK law firm tells late singer's family
A Hong Kong-based legal firm has told the family of dead rock star Michael Hutchence that his fortune, estimated to be between $10 million and $20 million, has vanished.
The mother of the singer, Patricia Glassop, has revealed that she received a letter from Boase Cohen & Collins claiming the value of the singer's estate as of July was zero.
But this does not include three properties that the former INXS front man - who moved to Hong Kong aged four and went to school here - owned on Australia's Gold Coast worth more than $10 million, a villa in the south of France, a house in the exclusive Chelsea district of London, and a development in Lombok, Indonesia, as well as a fleet of luxury cars including a Bentley and an Aston Martin.
Those assets are controlled by a complex web of companies extending across the globe from Liberia to the British Virgin Islands, according to a report in The Sydney Morning Herald. The companies still receive royalty payments from the INXS back catalogue.
Hutchence's financial advisers told the paper that he had made the arrangements not to avoid tax, but to keep his fortune away from 'thieving relatives' and 'girlfriends'.
But Hutchence's will declares that he wanted Amnesty International and Greenpeace to receive US$250,000, and the remainder to be split among his child Heavenly Hiraani Tiger Lily, his partner Paula Yates, and his immediate family.
Greenpeace and Amnesty International never received any of the cash. Yates, who died of a drug overdose in September 2000, was lent #100,000 (about $1.4 million) from the company controlling the royalty payments.
Hong Kong lawyer and accountant Andrew Paul was the executor of the will.
Other financial advisers were Tony Alford, an accountant, held to be a 'witness of little credit' in a Queensland court, Andrew Young, a lawyer struck off for not paying tax for 20 years, and Gordon Fisher, a tax adviser whose activities were once investigated during a royal commission, and Australian lawyer Colin Diamond.
Mr Diamond, Mr Fisher and Mr Paul set up a company together in Hong Kong in the 1980s as international lawyers and accountants. They were investigated by the Australian Federal Police over a tax scheme in which a government agency lost A$19 million ($111 million), the paper said.
On November 22, 1997, Hutchence, 37, was found hanging from a room in the plush Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Sydney's Double Bay. A coroner found the cause of death was suicide.
As a child the singer studied at Kowloon's King George V School. He lived in Hong Kong off and on for 12 years, first in Mosque Street in Mid-Levels and then on the water at Tai Tam. Hutchence met his one-time girlfriend, singing star Kylie Minogue, at the infamous rave club The Depot.
Hutchence's family took court action to recover their part of the estate but were forced to settle out of court.