Just a week before state coroner Derrick Hand reveals his findings in the hanging death of INXS singer Michael Hutchence, police officials revealed Thursday that the vocalist had not left behind or mailed a suicide note to friends or family.
"The last information we had is that he made a local phone call at 9 a.m. [Saturday, Nov. 22]," said Senior Constable Mark Hargreaves of the New South Wales Police's media unit, referring to a message Hutchence is believed to have left on ex-girlfriend Michelle Bennett's answering machine.
Hargreaves responded to British tabloid reports that Hutchence had left a suicide note, or had possibly posted one to lover Paula Yates and an unnamed friend in the Far East, with a curt "No. Not true. No note was found."
Questions remain regarding what exactly did happen in the Sydney, Australia, Ritz-Carlton hotel room on the night of Nov. 21 and the morning of Nov. 22, the day 37-year-old Hutchence's body was found hanging naked from his leather belt on the back of a door. Whatever had led to Hutchence's death, there's no evidence -- despite reports to the contrary -- that the death is a case of a kinky sex-game gone wrong, Hargreaves said.
"There is nothing to indicate foul play, auto-eroticism or whatever you want to call it," said Hargreaves, dismissing repeated reports that the sex-symbol singer, whose Australian moody dance-rock band peaked in 1987 with their hit album Kick, died as a result of a deadly case of auto-erotic asphyxiation, a sex ritual in which the brain is deprived of oxygen in an attempt to heighten orgasm. "All of that is speculation, it's been like that for weeks."
Shawn Deacon, the band's Australian publicist, vehemently denied those reports as well.
A central figure in Hutchence's death, Australian actress/former girlfriend Kym Wilson, has similarly been on the receiving end of false rumors. It was reported that the actress, who partied with Hutchence late into the night [Nov. 21] and into the morning hours of Nov. 22 and was believed to be the last person to see him alive, had committed suicide earlier in the week. "Kym Wilson is alive and well," read a story in Sydney's Friday Daily Telegraph.
"She had been drinking with him prior to his death," Hargreaves said. "That is her role in his death. She had nothing to do with it. Kym Wilson's been touted around here as being murdered, killed herself, responsible for a dozen murders. She's getting killed every day. She's responsible for setting a dozen bush-fires; it's just garbage, mate. She's very much alive."
Hargreaves also stated categorically that hanging is now listed as the cause of death, and that the investigating coroner would reveal any further findings on the case at the Dec. 15 press conference, at which time the results of toxicology tests taken on the four bottles of prescription drugs found in the room, including one labeled as containing the anti-depressant Prozac, would be revealed.
In an attempt to explain why Hutchence was found hanging naked, Hargreaves speculated, "It was early in the morning, he could have just gotten out of bed. It's hard to determine if he did it [hanged himself] on purpose or by accident." [Fri., Dec. 5, 1997, 9 a.m. PST]