Paula Yates tragic overdose death – Tiger-Lily discovery to chilling last words

Paula Yates was a showbiz stunner who ruled the screens of 80s and 90s TV by starring on hit shows such as The Tube and C4's Big Breakfast.

But her show-stopping presenting career wasn't all that she's known for, as her star-studded life was cut short after a fatal heroin overdose on September 17, 2000.

The star was also known for her rock'n'roll antics and her 18-year-long relationship with Boomtown Rats' Sir Bob Geldof.

The couple shared three children together, Fifi, Peaches, Pixie, and Paula also welcomed Tiger, who was from her next relationship with the late Australian INXS rocker Michael Hutchence.

Not only did Paula leave behind four daughters, but she also passed away on one of Pixie's birthdays when she was just 10-years-old, tragically dying on September 17 in 2000.

Now 21 years on, The Daily Star has taken a look back at her tragic last moments and the lead up into her unprecedented and accidental death, which was eerily similar to her daughter Peaches' in 2014.

The scene

Paula was found dead at her home in Notting Hill at the age of 41 following an overdose on heroin.

The coroner from Paula's case made a final ruling that it was not a suicide but in fact a result of "foolish and incautious" behaviour.

It was reported that the Welsh presenter had died from snorting too much heroin while caring for her four-year-old daughter Tiger, whose full name is Heavenly Hiraani Tiger Lily Hutchence Geldof.

Tiger’s godmother, Paula's friend Belinda Brewin, had realised that Paula had taken drugs when she turned up at her house the night before her death.

Paula told The Sun that she remembers asking Paula: “What have you been doing this for?” to which Paula blamed the pressure of being back and living in London.

Another pal of hers, Jo Fairely, rang Paula at 8.30am the next day, but Little Tiger was the one to pick up the phone, saying her mum was still asleep.

Half an hour passed and Jo called again, receiving the same reply from the child and so concerningly went round to investigate.

When Jo arrived, Tiger had to stand on a chair to let Jo in — but as soon as she looked into Paula’s bedroom, she knew her friend was gone.

During searches of the place, police later found a wrap of heroin on a bedside table and a rolled-up £5 note that contained traces of cocaine.


It was said by Paula's close friend that her downfall spiralled out of control after the death of her rock star lover Michael Hutchence, as it was finally ruled that he committed suicide.

After constant custody battles of Bob trying to gain full-time access of his three children, added with the stress of Paula not willing to bring Tiger to Australia to see him – it was said to be too much for the musician who died at 37.

After the news and Paula's heart broke, ex-husband Bob Geldof managed to ­gain custody of their three daughters, which led to Paula feeling much worse.

Paula and Bob were showbiz royalty in their heyday but the scandalous fallout from her drug-driven love affair with Michael both fascinated and appalled fans.

It was said that Michael had initially fuelled her drug-taking ways, as she never lived that lifestyle when married to Bob. But she ended up surpassing Michael's habits and taking it to a more dependent level.

Transformational times

In a recent interview with The Sun, Paula's friends actually revealed the former host had actually done well in turning her life around and stated that her overdose was most definitely an accident.

Her pals look back and remember her as a doting mum who finally seemed to be seeing the light, having moved away from a bad social circle in London to the peaceful ways of Hastings, East Sussex.

It was said that she would play happily on the beach with her young daughter Tiger Lily and that she finally fell into a place of happiness and healthiness.

But unfortunately, this didn't last too long as the big smoke called her back as it was thought she needed to be there to earn some income after becoming short of funds.

Her former publicist Gerry Agar told The Sun: “Being in Hastings was a search for finding herself again, but she came back to London — no one is sure why, other than to try to make money, as she was broke.

Path to destruction

But on September 16, 2000, someone frustratingly tempted her to try heroin once again.

Having been off the killer drug for two years, Paula’s body, unfortunately, did not cope with the volume of substance she ingested and resulted in her being found dead the next day.

Gerry continued: “All things were good with Bob and Paula before her death. He was desperate to keep her away from her so-called friends and the destructive influences.”

Following her mother's passing, Bob became Tiger’s legal guardian and now, aged 25, she is said to be living a quiet life out of the public glare in Australia.

Following footsteps

Alongside Tiger, who graduated from Goldsmiths, University of London in July 2019, her other remaining siblings still go on each day feeling the heartache of their great loss.

Fifi, 36 and Pixie, 31, have been said to have become a super tight unit with Tiger, even more so since the passing of their sister Peaches who tragically died in a similar way to her late mother.

Peaches was found dead slumped on her bed on 7 April 2014 by her husband Thomas Cohen at their family home in Wrotham, Kent.

The sassy and quick-witted British columnist, was a bold TV personality in the showbiz world and knew how to work a pose in the modelling industry.

On July 23, the coroner found that the cause of her death was "opioid intoxication", and recorded a verdict of drug-related death, with stark contrasts to her mother's passing.

Peaches was said to also be looking after her eleven-month-old baby son, which she left behind along with her slightly older son who are now both looked after by Thomas.

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