The secret life of late rocker Michael Hutchence revealed
20 YEARS ON... Michael Hutchence TWO DECADES AFTER HIS DEATH, THE ICON’S PRIVATE WORLD IS REVEALED
On the eve of the 20th anniversary of INXS star Michael Hutchence’s tragic death, a revealing new documentary about the legendary Aussie icon has uncovered previously unseen footage and moving interviews that open up his personal life like never before.
Featuring unseen home videos, pictures from his personal photo albums, confessions from a secret girlfriend and captivating tales from his nearest and dearest, Channel 7’s world exclusive Michael Hutchence: The Last Rockstar is the result of an 18-month-long investigation into the mesmerising musician’s intimate world.
‘It was extraordinary how eclipsed you could feel around him,’ says Duran Duran lead singer Simon Le Bon, remembering his friend in the two-part special. ‘We liked having fun, girls, partying and
HE HAD AN INCREDIBLE SEXUAL CHARISMA
drugs… There were incredible women and they were just interested in Michael – he had an incredible sexual charisma.’
While it’s no secret the INXS frontman lived the ultimate rock star’s lifestyle surrounded by sex, drugs and rock’n’roll, the revelry came with a hefty price tag, says the band’s barrister and co-executor of Michael’s estate, Colin Diamond.
Breaking his silence for the first time since the singer’s death, Colin fondly recalls the time Michael racked up an astonishing $48,000 bill after a several-day bender. ‘He definitely enjoyed himself,’ Colin laughs, adding that the party-loving rocker ‘spent $1.10 on every dollar he made’.
Many of his friends, including bandmate Jon Farriss’ ex-wife Leslie Bega, agree that Michael was the life of the party. ‘He had a cheeky sense of humour,’ Leslie shares, revealing that the superstar had an arsenal of ‘wild accents’ that would leave everyone around him in hysterics.
Michael’s half-sister Tina Hutchence offers a snapshot of the man before he found fame, admitting she was surprised upon seeing his first live performance. ‘My quiet-spoken brother became this [other] person on the stage… it blew me away,’ she explains.
Apparently, the megastar overcame his shyness by ditching his contact lenses before
HE WOULD LOVE YOU TILL THE BITTER END AND THEN BE GONE
each gig – which meant he couldn’t see beyond the first three rows of the crowd!
Needless to say, the Devil Inside singer’s stage presence was undeniable – even Mick Jagger was impressed. Actress Peta Wilson remembers taking the Rolling Stones rocker to watch Michael in concert and was in disbelief when he started taking notes. ‘I was like, “What are you doing? He’s doing you!”’ She says Mick then turned to her and said, ‘ Yeah, but he’s doing me better than I do!’
Admirers were just a part of life for the frontman, who was rarely seen without a stunning woman on his arm. Bandmate Kirk Pengilly insists Michael ‘definitely corrupted’ one-time girlfriend Kylie Minogue, who ‘politely declined’ to be part of the documentary. Former model Rosanna Crash, or ‘Johnny Cash’ as was her codename in Michael’s inner circle, does speak for the first time, though. While she says he was a ‘great boyfriend’ during their three years together in the late ’80s, she did discover one particular flaw in his character – he was bad at breaking up.
‘He would love you till the bitter end and then be gone and that’s it, but not tell you that… He’d say, “Oh, I’ll see you”, then get on a plane, [call you] and say, “We’re not together anymore.” And you go, “Wow, really?”’
According to loved ones, Michael’s biggest heartbreak occurred in 1992 while in Copenhagen with supermodel girlfriend Helena Christensen. He was attacked by a taxi driver and fractured his skull, which resulted in an almost complete loss of his sense of taste and smell. It marked the beginning of the star’s downward spiral.
‘He was probably one of the most sensual human beings I’ve ever known,’ says Leslie, explaining that the loss of his two senses affected him deeply.
Tina recalls the devastating phone call she had with her brother after the birth of his and Paula Yates’ daughter Heavenly Hiraani Tiger Lily in July 1996. ‘[Michael] said, “You know what? I can’t smell her.” [And] that just broke my heart,’ she says.
The musician was besotted with his only child, as seen in a previously unreleased home video that shows him playing with the tot on his bed (covered with an Aussie flag!). Family snapshots, which Colin has kept private until now, also offer a glimpse at the devoted father and his little girl, now 21, in the short time he had with her before he took his own life when Tiger was just 16 months old.
An emotional Colin sums up the sad truth as he shares the images entrusted to him. ‘Anyone who sees the photos can tell he was proud of her… We just didn’t know he would be robbed of a life with her.’
Watch Michael Hutchence: The Last Rockstar Monday and Tuesday, 7.30pm on Channel 7
The INXS star lived a full life before he was found dead in his Double Bay hotel room in Sydney on November 22, 1997
Michael and Kylie Minogue dated between 1989 and 1991. ‘He changed her image, he sexed her up and loved seeing the change,’ reveals photographer Richard Simpkins