As Australian rock band INXS paid tribute to their former frontman Michael Hutchence on his 10th death anniversary, the late rocker's brother Rhett Hutchence was trying to prove that his older sibling was actually the victim of a sex game, not suicide.
Michael was found dead on November 22, 1997, in a room of Sydney Ritz Carlton Sydney Hotel. The court ruled that the rocker, who was 37 at the time, had committed suicide.
Within three years his girlfriend, Paula Yates, had died from a drugs overdose, leaving their baby daughter Tiger Lily orphaned.
In an exclusive interview, Rhett, pledged to turn over the court's verdict, for he wants Tiger Lily to know the painful truth about her dad.
"I am sick of hearing Michael died from suicide. I hate that and that Tiger is going to think both her parents killed themselves. Paula's death was an accident, she overdosed. Michael's death was an accident too," The Sun quoted him, as saying.
He stressed that he can present new evidence that Michael was deeply into autoerotic asphyxiation, the act of depriving oneself of oxygen to attain or enhance an orgasm during sex play.
"If I can collate the evidence I will put it forward. I know Michael had been seeing this American girl and he had been getting into autoerotic asphyxiation. Even though he was with Paula, he still had girls on the side," Rhett said.
"He fell in love with this one girl. She had been with Michael sporadically on the INXS American tour of 1997. He died a few days after arriving in Sydney. I checked the phone records from Michael's hotel room after he landed and there were nine outgoing calls.
Rhett further said that he optimistic this woman will step forward and support his bid to overturn the verdict.
"She was deliberately kept quiet after his death. She had a religious background so it will be hard to convince her but a statutory declaration from her will show that Michael was doing autoerotic asphyxiation leading up to his death."
He revealed that there is another crucial piece of evidence, a bolt often used by sex gamers to fasten the ligature round their neck.
"The police have bags of his possessions from his hotel room and one of the things that stands out is a ring bolt screw. It's a screw that you put into wood but it has a loop on the end where you can hang a hammock or, in this case, a belt," he said.
"Just above the bathroom door in the hotel where Michael died there were marks where it looked like something had been screwed in. And one had been screwed into the air conditioning. It all points to autoerotic asphyxiation," he added.
Rhett will be a consultant on a movie based on Michael's life, Slide Away, after Hollywood star Morgan Freeman's company snapped up the rights to make the pic.
"Michael's life is worthy of being made into a movie. He was a very public man and lived an interesting lifestyle. The movie focuses on Michael explaining to Tiger what happened and why he was the way he was," he said.
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