“She (Paula) could not face the fact that she wasn’t enough (for Michael),” Tina says. “He didn’t want to live for her. She just couldn’t handle it that he’d leave her.”
Tina’s comments seem to correlate with those made by Michael’s former INXS bandmate, Kirk Pengilly in 2014. He told Sunday Night, Michael was planning to leave Paula days before Michael was found dead in a Sydney hotel room on November 22, 1997.
“Just prior to his death, that week or so – what he told me, he had a plan in place to basically split up with Paula,” Pengilly said at the time.
It’s no secret Michael hated the fact he was caught in the middle of Paula and Sir Bob Geldof ’s bitter divorce.
Tina has just released a book, simply titled Michael, in which she describes Paula as “the worst possible partner Michael could have chosen at the time”.
“I just found her to be quite unusual,” Tina says of Paula.
“She would tell stories…that I knew not to be true.
“I felt there was something wrong with her. And it wasn’t until later that I started reading up and I found that she had a borderline personality (disorder).”
Tina says Michael’s brain injury, which he suffered as a result of a vicious attack by a taxi driver in Denmark in 1992, had lasting effects on the singer.
“He couldn’t cope with things after his injury,” she says. “He was really confused. He was not himself.”
And when he became involved with Paula, there “was just drama all the time”, she adds. Paula died of a heroin overdose in 2000.
While Michael and Paula’s relationship was tempestuous, Tina says it did produce a “beautiful child”, in their daughter Tiger Lily, who was born a year before Michael died.
Elsewhere in her book, Tina describes being “stunned” at meeting Michael’s then girlfriend, pop princess Kylie Minogue for the first time. Michael had arranged to meet Tina for dinner to celebrate her birthday.
“I showed up and over his shoulder I saw this very pretty, very little, gorgeous girl. It was Kylie,” Tina recalls of seeing the former Neighbours star. “She was so sweet. And they did get along well. She was unlike any of Michael’s previous girlfriends.
“It was interesting because they had this sort of relationship where he loved to teach her,” Tina says.
“He was showing her movies she’d never seen before, that he felt were really important movies; old movies that she’d heard of but never watched.”
ON STAGE AND OFF
Michael’s natural charisma, good looks and singing ability made him a rock star loved by millions. Tina remembers him as a Peter Pan-like “lost boy” who “loved women” but was also someone who could be “down-to-earth”.
The moment he had to take to the stage, however, he would transform into a different person altogether.
“He said once, ‘As you walk up the stairs to the stage, somebody shines a light on each stair, so you don’t trip,’” she says.
“And God knows, he was blind as a bat. He really was. He couldn’t see very well.
“But he said, ‘As you walk up, each step gets you closer to that (rock star) character.’”
Tina says she was like a second mother to Michael throughout his life.
What she misses most about her brother is “his hugs”.
“He had a way of just putting his arms around you, and you really felt the warmth,” she remembers.
For the full story see this weeks issue of New Idea, on sale now.