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Michael Hutchence's mum: My fears for Tigerlily

Monday, June 15, 2009

As tragedy strikes her family again, Patricia Glassop tells Julie Hayne why she's so worried about the granddaughter she hasn't seen in three years.

Like any other adoring mother and grandmother, Patricia Glassop keeps mementos of her family around her home. Pictures of her late son Michael Hutchence adorn the walls next to photos of Tigerlily, his only child.

Patricia's loving photographic timeline of Michael's life ends abruptly in 1997 – when her rock star son died suddenly.

As Tigerlily approaches her 13th birthday, you'd expect the cherished mementos of happy Christmas Days, birthday parties and family holidays to continue. But the tragic truth is that Patricia hasn't seen her precious granddaughter in years, and barely knows her.

"I don't know what her favourite colour is, what movies she likes or what fashion she's into. I don't know anything, yet she is my grandchild, my son's daughter," says Patricia, speaking exclusively to Woman's Day.

Now Patricia's greatest fear – that she may never see her darling Tiger again – has become a tragic reality for her husband and Tiger's grandpa, Ross Glassop.

Her voice breaking, Patricia reveals that Ross passed away from respiratory failure on Mother's Day this year without being allowed to say goodbye to the little girl he adored.

"Ross was an airforce pilot and not easily reduced to tears. But when he spoke to me about the possibility of dying without ever seeing or talking to our Tigerlily again, he would just break down.

"It's totally cruel and unnecessary. I've lost my husband and now I have a granddaughter who doesn't even know her beloved Grandpa Ross has died. We have been completely cut out of her life by Bob Geldof."

Several months before Ross's death, Patricia wrote to Bob – Tigerlily's legal guardian and father to her controversial half-sisters Peaches, Pixie and Fifi – begging him to let Tiger speak to her grandpa. "I explained that Ross was seriously ill, but I never heard back.

"Now it's too late. I don't understand how any man could do that. It isn't only hurting us, it's hurting Tiger as well."

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