Orphaned Tiger Lily to be looked after by Geldof

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The Independent Online

Paula yates's daughter Tiger Lily, who apparently discovered the television presenter's body, was yesterday in the temporary care of Bob Geldof, who had divorced Ms Yates.

Paula yates's daughter Tiger Lily, who apparently discovered the television presenter's body, was yesterday in the temporary care of Bob Geldof, who had divorced Ms Yates.

Mrs Justice Hogg said the four-year-old - the turbulent presenter's child by the late INXS rock singer Michael Hutchence - is now a ward of court being cared for by Geldof "on an interim basis". The former Boomtown Rats singer is also looking after his own three daughters by Ms Yates.

A post-mortem examination on Ms Yates has been inconclusive. A Scotland Yard spokesman said further tests were being done. Ms Yates, 41, was found dead in her bed at her west London home, at around 10 on Sunday morning. She may have died through choking on vomit after drinking vodka and taking pills.

Some reports said paramedics found a jar of prescribed pills, a vodka bottle and heroin beside her bed. There was no suicide note. Detectives are investigating and an inquest will be opened tomorrow by the Westminster coroner.

Yesterday, as the Official Solicitor, Laurence Oates, repeated Geldof's request for privacy for the children, Tiger Lily's grandfather Kell, father of Michael Hutchence, said from his home in Australia: "As far as the custody of Tiger is concerned, I feel she's in very good hands. My heart goes out to Bob Geldof and to my little granddaughter, Tiger Lily, who I feel for so much at this tragic hour, but certainly we will see how things proceed and I will be guided by many factors in this matter."

Mr Hutchence, 67, who dropped legal action to care for Tiger Lily after his son was found hanging in a hotel room in Sydney in 1997, denied trying to get permanent custody of Tiger Lily.

"I tried to get a temporary custody, if you can call it custody, which would just have been looking after Tiger when her mother was not well, " he said. "Naturally, I'm greatly concerned for my granddaughter's welfare, and I think it's just a matter of letting the dust settle on this whole thing then working out what is the best for Tiger."

Mr Hutchence refused to speculate on whether he would like to have future custody of the child. He added: "I just want the best for Tiger and I think that the responsible parties will sit down and no doubt work out a plan for her future.

"I know Paula had her ways and often we didn't agree, but God bless her, I never really thought it would come to this. She was a good mother, she loved her kids and I just think it's very, very tragic."

Ms Yates, who shot to fame in the 1980s as co-presenter of the Channel 4 music show The Tube, had four children - Fifi Trixibelle, 17, Peaches, 11, and Pixie, 10, by Geldof - and Heavenly Hiraani Tiger Lily by Hutchence. She had met him while conducting interviews for The Big Breakfast on a giant bed.

Ms Yates had been suffering from bouts of depression since Hutchence's death and refused to accept the coroner's conclusion that he had committed suicide, believing he had died because of sexual experimentation that had gone wrong.

Shortly after, she discovered she was not the daughter of Jess Yates, host of the religious television show Stars on Sunday but the child of Hughie Green, who presented the long-running Opportunity Knocks. She had became estranged from her mother, Helene Thornton, who denied that her daughter had endured an unhappy childhood.

In 1998, Ms Yates tried to hang herself and she was still struggling to beat an apparent addiction to alcohol and drugs. A storeowner near her home in Notting Hill said she would visit up to seven times a day buying several miniature bottles of vodka on each visit.

Sarah French, the neighbour who found her in 1998 when she tried to take her life, said: "Afterwards she never recognised me. She was always out of it. I saw her in the street and she looked pale and pretty much tripped out of her head."

She said Ms Yates had been decorating her home and building a roof garden. Yesterday, Ms Yates's solicitor, Anthony Burton, visited her house, with the presenter's friend, Belinda Brewin, who had also helped her with her children.

Mr Burton said: "The family are coping as well as they can in the circumstances. It's an extremely difficult time for them all and please, please respect their privacy."

Ms Brewin handed Ms Yates's cat, named Chickeny, to a neighbour.

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