Ge­orge won’t be buried un­til March Fam­ily’s agony as probe into star’s death con­tin­ues

The People - - NEWS FEATURES & - By Sharon Fe­in­stein

GE­ORGE Michael’s fam­ily may have to wait un­til next month to bury the singer – three months af­ter he was found dead on Christ­mas Day.

Po­lice warned it could be “sev­eral weeks” be­fore his body is re­leased by the coroner.

The ag­o­nis­ing wait is putting an “in­tol­er­a­ble” strain on the star’s griev­ing fam­ily, sources close to them claimed.

They said Ge­orge’s dev­as­tated dad Kyr­i­a­cos Panayiotou had strug­gled to leave his house since his son’s death.

Greek ra­dio host Vasilis Panayi said: “It’s very hard for all of them, quite in­tol­er­a­ble. It’s a shock and ter­ri­ble for his fa­ther. He was look­ing for­ward to a happy old age and now all he has is grief.

“He wants to hold the fu­neral but so far the po­lice are re­fus­ing to re­lease the body and are look­ing for fur­ther clues.”

And fam­ily friend Demetri Louca said: “Ge­orge’s body is still with the coroner in Ox­ford­shire. His fam­ily are find­ing the wait in­tol­er­a­ble. His body will be there un­til they have found the cause of death and ap­par­ently it is very nearly fin­ished now. They are plan­ning the fu­neral with the high priest and will an­nounce the date in time.”

Their heartache comes as Ge­orge’s lover Fadi Fawaz said he was “hor­ri­fied” about the re­lease of his 999 call de­tail­ing his des­per­ate at­tempts to re­vive the singer.

In it he told the am­bu­lance call han­dler: “He’s gone. He’s blue. He’s dead.”

The four-and-a-half minute call was made by Fadi af­ter he found the singer dead in his bed aged 53. In the record­ing Fadi is un­able to quickly give Ge­orge’s full post­code and ad­mits he is “shak­ing”. The han­dler then asks where the body is and Fadi replies: “He’s in

bed. Dead. He’s cold and he’s blue... yes, he’s very stiff. He’s dead... he’s dead.”

Asked by the op­er­a­tor if the singer is “be­yond help”, Fadi re­veals he has spent an hour try­ing to re­vive him.

The op­er­a­tor goes on to ask if Ge­orge’s death was “ex­pected”. Fadi replies: “No, no, no, no, no, no, I’ve been wait­ing for him to wake him up for hours and he wouldn’t wake up, I went to wake him up and he was gone, you know, he’s not there.”

He adds: “It’s Ge­orge Michael, you know, the singer?” He then wrongly gives Ge­orge’s date of birth as July 25 in­stead of June 25.

Yes­ter­day Fadi, who was pic­tured leav­ing his house in south-west Lon­don, said: “It’s hor­ri­fy­ing. What’s go­ing on?”

A pal said: “Fadi’s heart­bro­ken he’s hav­ing to re-live the morn­ing he dis­cov­ered Ge­orge with the re­lease of this tape.

“He’s find­ing it hard enough to grieve and now he is hav­ing to re­live that har­row­ing call over and over again.”


Fadi, a fine art pho­tog­ra­pher, has been told he is no longer part of a po­lice probe into the singer’s death in Gor­ing, Oxon.

A friend of Ge­orge’s fam­ily, Kyr­i­akos Pourikou, said of the leaked call: “It is shock­ing. Of course it’s not nice for us and the rest of the fam­ily.”

A state­ment is­sued by solicitors for the fam­ily said: “Ge­orge’s fam­ily and friends are ex­tremely up­set and truly ap­palled that such a per­sonal, painful and clearly con­fi­den­tial record­ing has been leaked. On their be­half we will be en­sur­ing a full in­ves­ti­ga­tion takes place to es­tab­lish how this ma­te­rial was made avail­able and we will ex­pect the cul­prit(s) to be dealt with ap­pro­pri­ately.”

South Cen­tral Am­bu­lance Ser­vice NHS Foun­da­tion Trust said: “The Trust has been in­formed about the re­lease of the tape of a 999 call. We take mat­ters of con­fi­den­tial­ity very se­ri­ously and have launched an im­me­di­ate in­ves­ti­ga­tion.” The Trust is help­ing po­lice with their in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the leak.

DEATH PROBE Ge­orge’s body might not be re­leased for weeks AGONY: Fadi yes­ter­day, and with Ge­orge

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