Heroin use likely played a role in the death of Live Aid founder Bob Geldof’s daughter Peaches, the same drug that killed her mother Paula Yates in 2000, an inquest in Britain has heard.
The 25-year-old model and writer, who had two young sons, was found dead on her bed by her husband Thomas Cohen at her rural home southeast of London on April 7, police told the inquest.
“Recent use of heroin and the levels identified were likely to have played a role in her death,” police detective Paul Fotheringham told the opening of the inquest in Gravesend, Kent, southeast England.
Peaches, who wrote for British magazines and newspapers and presented celebrity-driven television shows, had been looking after her 11-month-old son Phaedra at her home in Wrotham, Kent.
Her 23-year-old husband, Thomas Cohen, a musician, had spent the previous night apart from his wife and was looking after their eldest son, 23-month-old Astala.
The last person to see Geldof alive was Cohen’s father Keith, who had dropped off Phaedra with her the night before, while the last contact with her was a telephone conversation with a friend at 7.45pm that same night, the inquest heard.
“All of the friends and family who had contact with Peaches during this period described how she seemed her normal self and was making plans for the future,” Fotheringham said.
But Cohen became alarmed the following morning when he could not contact her and he and his mother drove to the house.
“Thomas entered the property and located Peaches in the spare bedroom,” Fotheringham said, adding that it was apparent that she was dead.
“She was located on the edge of the bed with one leg hanging down to the floor and the other leg tucked underneath her. She was slumped across the bed.”
Phaedra was found nearby unharmed.
A post-mortem examination was inconclusive, but toxicology tests showed the recent taking of heroin.
Coroner Roger Hatch adjourned the inquest for a full hearing to take place on July 23.
Bob Geldof, who arranged the 1985 Live Aid concert for Ethiopian famine victims, identified his daughter’s body, the inquest heard.
In 2000 Geldof’s mother Yates accidentally overdosed on heroin, aged 41, while looking after Heavenly Hiraani Tiger Lily, her four-year-old daughter with INXS frontman Michael Hutchence, at their London home.
In her final column for Britain’s Mother and Baby magazine, published after her death with the Geldof family’s blessing, Peaches wrote that she was “happier than ever”.
“I’m happier than ever,” she wrote.
“Right now life is good. And being a mum is the best part of it.”