Peaches Geldof: Many of us are guilty of wanting to know every detail of a celebrity death, but we are not entitled to

There has been inevitable speculation over what went on behind closed doors following this sudden tragedy

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The Independent Online

Peaches Geldof lived her life on fast-forward. Twice married by 23, two children by the age of 25, it was as though she sensed her time was limited and sought to cram as much in as she could. The daughter of a rock star, she grew up under the stark and unforgiving glare of the media, a gaze made all the harsher by her mother’s death from a drug overdose when Peaches was just 11.

From her own drug use to her ill-fated first marriage and subsequent divorce at 19, Peaches was often considered the wildest of the Geldof spawn. Allegations of shop-lifting, anorexia, and alcohol abuse hounded her throughout her teens. In a statement released by her grieving father yesterday, she was described as “ the most bonkers of us all”.

But Peaches grew into a young mother who was absolutely, unequivocally devoted to her family. She appeared settled with her second husband Thomas Cohen, and her Twitter feed told the story of a seemingly fairytale life. Two beautiful children, a big house in the countryside, adorable family pets. We all watched as the middle Geldof girl made the transition from wild child to earth mother, only recently taking down “rent-a-gob” Katie Hopkins on ITV's This Morning after the ex-Apprentice contestant dared to question Peaches' attachment-parenting technique.

As we wait to find out exactly what caused Peaches' death at the age of 25, there is inevitable speculation over what went on behind closed doors. Did we miss something? Was Peaches using social media merely to share a carefully constructed image of a perfect life? It's possible, I suppose, that her rose-tinted Twitter feed masked something altogether more troubling; a very public projection to disguise the pain of ... what? Post-natal depression? Addiction? Illness?


Guilty as many of us are of wanting to know every detail of a celebrity death, particularly one so sudden, we are not entitled to. Peaches might have shared every moment of her life with us on social media but we should not expect the same from her death. As fans speculate over drug overdoses and depression, questioning Peaches' final tweet (a picture of her with her mother), and morbidly sharing videos of her playing with her children the day before she died, we would do well to remember that death makes equals of us all. Celebrity or no celebrity, the loss of any young parent is too terrible to fathom.

Peaches said that she only started to grieve for her mother when she was 16, five years after Paula Yates’ death. In some ways, it’s a heartbreaking blessing that her own children will be too young to understand the true and tragic extent of what happened to them yesterday, a fact that will, I'm sure, prove little comfort to the people who loved Peaches the most.

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