Is Michael Hutchence's Estate Being Exploited?
Shocking claims have been made in regards to the ownership of Michael Hutchence's intellectual property, after an investigation uncovered an offshore company that has been set up to exploit the 20th anniversary of the rock stars death.
ABC's Four Corners program has uncovered among the Paradise Papers leak detailing the offshore dealings of notable names including The Queen, U2 frontman Bono, and Aussie billionaire James Packer, that Hutchence's former lawyer, Colin Diamond is claiming total ownership over a key part of the late singers estate
Not only is Diamond claiming to be Hutchence's trustee, but that he is also the "ultimate beneficial owner" of all the star's remaining assets held in the company Chardonnay Investments.
Four Corners revealed that the controversial Bermuda law firm Appleby knew that Hutchence's estate was disputed, but in 2015 they allowed Diamond to set up a company designed to cash in on the 20th anniversary of the rock star's death.
The ABC queried how Diamond came to be in the possession of some of Hutchence's personal belongings that appeared in the recent Channel 7 documentary, The Last Rockstar.
Those belongings included Hutchence's diary and song lyrics left behind by the INXS star when he passed away in a Double Bay hotel in 1997.
Michael's brother, Rhett Hutchence, told Four Corners, “Two days after Michael died, Colin Diamond went into the Rose Bay Police Station, acting as Michael’s attorney, and took hold of all of Michael’s possessions that he had with him in Australia."
“He kindly left the belt that Michael used for my father to pick up."
“My father was — I mean, the whole family was completely shocked that he had actually taken all this stuff."
“That should have been part of the estate. It’s the family stuff.”
Music entrepreneur Ron Creevey's company Moment Media was the partner with Diamond's Chardonnay Investments in the joint venture set up through Mauritius - Helipad Plain Limited - and benefit from any of the Hutchence deals.
Four Corners revealed documents relating to Moment Media were sought in search warrants issued by Australian Federal Police in the recent raids on "King of the Cross", John Ibrahim.
Ibrahim was not charged after the raids.