Peaches Geldof death: Luisa Zissman brands late socialite ‘selfish’ in article about mother-of-two’s ‘likely’ heroin use

An inquest into the death of Peaches Geldof ruled that heroin was ‘likely’ to have played a part in her sudden passing

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The Independent Online

Luisa Zissman has branded Peaches Geldof “selfish” for reportedly continuing to use heroin while she cared for her children.

The former Apprentice contestant said that the late presenter and model should have considered the impact that her passing – of which Heroin was ruled to have been the “likely” cause at an inquest last week – would have on her children, particularly in light of her mother Paula Yates’s death in 2000.

Unsure as to why “no one had pointed out the obvious”, the British retail entrepreneur said she thought that Geldof’s behaviour was “disgraceful”.

“I know to speak ill of the defenceless dead is a sensitive subject, but no one has come out to say that – if the reports are correct – shooting up in front of your kids to the point of (suspected) overdose is possibly one of the most selfish things a mother or father, in fact any relative, can do,” she wrote in her Daily Star column.

“For someone whose mother died in exactly the same way she should have known better, first-hand she experienced how it took Paula Yates away from her,” she went on.

“Yet she chose to force the same fate onto her children. I can’t be the only one thinking that yes, it’s terribly sad, but also it's disgraceful.”

Geldof, a mother of two, was found dead in her Kent home on 7 April by her husband, Thomas Cohen. She was just 25.

Their youngest child, 11-month-old baby Phaedra, was in her care at the time of the discovery. The couple’s eldest son, Astala, had been staying with Cohen at his mother’s house. There is no evidence to suggest that the socialite had been “shooting up” in the presence of her children, contrary to Zissman’s quotes.

An inquest was told last week that Geldof’s death was “likely” to have been caused by an overdose of heroin. Her funeral was held in Davington, Kent, with her sky blue coffin decorated with a picture of her family. The service was held in the same church that the funeral of her mother, Paula Yates, had also been staged.

However, Zissman said that she agreed with fellow Apprentice contestant Katie Hopkins, who recently faced a backlash for questioning whether the public would have sympathised as much if Geldof was “a mother living on benefits living on a council estate”.

“A tragic death is one where it’s completely out of your control, not one that could have been completely avoided,” she said.

“It baffles me why no one else has come forward and commented like Katie did. I don’t think her tweet was wrong at all. She’s entitled to her opinion and she can’t be alone in it. So why are people in the public eye not condemning dying from heroin?”

Zissman attributed the reason that the public and the media were not more critical of Geldof to being “too scared to publicly voice their actual opinion through fear of repercussion”.

“Well I don’t care what people think, I think it’s completely unacceptable and I’m not scared to speak out to try and not glamorise this horrific incident for two children will never remember their mother,” she said.

“After all, they are the ones we should be feeling sorry for.”

Police are currently investigating the supply of drugs into Geldof’s death. No arrests have yet been made.

Read more: Peaches Geldof, Paula Yates and the legacy of tragedy
Geldof's final magazine column
Why Geldof's death is no less tragic because it involved heroin