Peaches Geldof dead: A woman who barely had a moment to live away from the public gaze

 

Media Editor

Just before she died Peaches Geldof posted on the Internet an Instagram shot of herself as a small child being held by her mother Paula Yates, the pair of them with their hair tied up with colourful bows.

The image was pored over online this evening as parallels were inevitably drawn between the tragic fates of mother and daughter. In her short life, Peaches barely had a moment to live away from the public gaze. She was born at the end of the Eighties to an extraordinary father who had become one of the most famous men of that decade as he persuaded the world to face up to African famine and then staged the greatest live concert ever seen to help fund that campaign.

Star Tributes Pour In For Peaches Geldof
Fifi Geldof's Heartbreaking Photo Tribute

With a sister called Fifi Trixibelle, Peaches became an immediate source of fascination for the rapidly expanding celebrity media culture and her flamboyant mother, the television presenter Paula Yates, appeared hopelessly drawn to that spotlight.

It was a childhood marked by successive tragedies and instability, despite the efforts of a father who tried to balance his paternal responsibilities with global fame and a wife who chased excitement.

 

When Peaches was seven, Ms Yates and Mr Geldof divorced, shortly before her mother gave birth to another daughter with her new partner Michael Hutchence, the Australian rock singer with whom she had been conducting a long affair. The following year, 1997, Hutchence was found dead in a Sydney hotel room.

Peaches and her two sisters returned to Mr Geldof as her mother’s behaviour became increasingly erratic. Ms Yates was found dead from a heroin overdose in September 2000, when Peaches was 11 years old.

Read more: Bob Geldof mourns 'the wildest, funniest, cleverest, wittiest and the most bonkers of all of us'

She has since described how it had taken many years of her childhood to come to terms with the loss of her mother. “I remember the day my mother died, and it's still hard to talk about it. I just blocked it out. I went to school the next day because my father's mentality was 'Keep calm and carry on',” she said in an interview with Elle magazine two years ago. “So we all went to school and tried to act as if nothing had happened. But it had happened. I didn't grieve. I didn't cry at her funeral. I couldn't express anything because I was just numb to it all. I didn't start grieving for my mother properly until I was maybe 16.”

By then she had begun a media career of her own, writing a column for Elle at the age of 15 before going on to host her own television show “OMG! With Peaches Geldof” on ITV2.

This player is used within article copy as first element. Default size is 630w but FC code uses it for 460w article layout.

She became one of the best-known socialites of her age group. A constant presence in the showbiz photo columns and a celebrity DJ in London clubs, Peaches was living the life craved by her peers in the provinces and the suburbs. But she claimed bitterly that the press coverage that came with her fame falsely branded her as “this drug-addicted, shoplifting, bisexual, husband-cheating-on diva”. Stating that she had stopped using drugs she added: “I’m not Amy Winehouse.”

She had married for the first time when still in her teens but the marriage lasted six months. With her second marriage, to rock singer Thomas Cohen, came motherhood and two boys. Peaches finally seemed to have found some stability.

This player is used within article copy as first element. Default size is 630w but FC code uses it for 460w article layout.

In an interview Mr Cohen described her as “funny and clever and open” as he looked forward to their family future. "From the moment we went out with each other I knew that I didn’t want to spend a day away from her really for the rest of my life,” he said.
 

Read More: When Peaches owned Katie Hopkins on This Morning
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Recruitment Genius: HR Manager

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are in need of a HR Manage...

h2 Recruit Ltd: Business Development Manager - HR Consultancy - £65,000 OTE

£35000 - £40000 per annum + £65,000 OTE: h2 Recruit Ltd: London, Birmingham, M...

Day In a Page

Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there