Michael Hutchence’s brother has blocked the public from accessing the rockstar’s coronial file despite saying he did not believe his sibling died from suicide, it has been revealed.
Rhett Hutchence, 57, who became the star’s next-of-kin following the death of their parents, sealed his brother’s file in 2017 after suggesting he could have died from ‘sexual misadventure’ or was murdered.
The INXS frontman’s naked body was found in a hotel room in the exclusive Ritz-Carlton in Double Bay, a harbourside suburb of Sydney, in November 1997.
Rhett Hutchence (left) 57, sealed brother Michael Hutchence’s coronial file in 2017, it has been revealed
The INXS frontman’s naked body was found in a hotel room in the exclusive Ritz-Carlton in Double Bay, a harbourside suburb of Sydney, in November 1997. His death was ruled a suicide by hanging
Coroners ruled his cause of death had been asphyxiation by suicide.
A post-mortem examination found alcohol, cocaine, codeine, Prozac, Valium and other prescribed benzodiazepines in Hutchence’s urine and blood. He did not leave a suicide note.
In 2017, the same year he blocked access to the file, Rhett revealed his own theories on his brother’s death in a social media post on what would’ve been Michael’s 57th birthday.
‘Only three things could have happened that day. Michael may have committed suicide, Michael may have passed due to lack of oxygen, due to sexual misadventure, or adventure, or Michael was killed,’ he wrote.
‘In the last 19 years, looking, searching, talking to people, I have found all three things to be plausible, but still don’t have a solid answer if you asked me.’
On Thursday, the coroner’s office revealed it had contacted Rhett Hutchence in 2017 requesting media access to the documents but was denied, The Daily Telegraph reported.
The singer’s brother ‘objected’ to the release except for reasons for ‘dispensing and toxicology results.
A spokesperson also said that in 2014, a state coroner had attempted to access the files in 2014 but was blocked due to ‘the sensitivity of the material’ and ‘privacy interests of the surviving relatives.’
Detective Inspector Mark Smith has recounted the harrowing moment he opened the door to room 524 (pictured)
A piece of paper with some writing on was found in the hotel room, believed to be lyrics the music legend had been working on
Hutchence’s death had continued to receive media attention years later due to ongoing speculation.
Coroner Derrick Hand, who worked on Hutchence’s case, told True Crime Australia that there was no reason to believe the death wasn’t a suicide.
However, rumours began to swirl after an English journalist had raised the possibility that Hutchence could have died from auto-erotic asphyxiation.
In the wake of his death, Hutchence’s former lover Paula Yates also repeated the claims while giving details about their sex life. She also said she would never accept the star would take his own life.
Detective Inspector Smith said Yates had been adamant she wanted her child Tiger Lily to believe it was an accidental death rather than a suicide, which Mr Hand called, ‘bizarre.’
Mr Hand said authorities must work to ignore rumours and ‘suppositions’ and rely on the facts.
‘This is what happened. There’s a lot of armchair sleuths out there, a lot of conspiracy theorists. We got it right, it was a suicide and nothing else,’ he said.
Michael Hutchence (back row, left) with INXS band members, clockwise from top right: Andrew Farriss, Tim Farriss, Garry Gary Beers, Kirk Pengilly, and Jon Farriss
Hutchence and British television presenter Paula Yates with two of Yates’ daughters, Peaches Geldof and Pixie Geldof (right) and their friend, Natasha, London, 5th February 1996
Detective Inspector Mark Smith also recounted in True Crime Australia’s Police Tape podcast the harrowing moment he found the Australian singer slumped dead on the floor in hotel room 524.
‘The bath was full, we don’t know whether he had a bath or not or what his intentions were. As I said there was a bit of a mess, like if you would have had a couple of friends around during the course of the night for a bit of a party, but there [was] not much,’ he added.
No drugs were found at the scene, only some foil which is presumed to have been used as a drug paraphernalia.
Detective Inspector Smith said there was little else in the room, apart from a piece of paper with some writing on it.
It’s understood the words were the final lyrics, never published, that Hutchence had been working on.
Detective Inspector Smith also noted that while there was no suicide note, the scene pointed towards a suicide.
For confidential support in Australia LIFELINE: 13 11 14 www.lifeline.org.au . Suicide Call Back Service: 1300 659 467