Serena Kappes
July 23, 1998 12:00 AM

The Sept. 17 death of Paula Yates, 41, ex-wife of pop star Bob Geldof and girlfriend of INXS singer Michael Hutchence (who committed suicide in 1997) has raised questions among her friends and family, reports PEOPLE magazine in its Oct. 20 issue. According to those close to Yates, her life was on an apparent upswing, even though the British TV personality had been treated for depression earlier this year and had made a suicide attempt after Hutchence’s death. Friend Craig Sams told PEOPLE that Yates had just signed with a new agent and that “she was getting it together.” Yates was found dead in her London home with an empty vodka bottle and a half-empty bottle of barbiturates near her. But a postmortem was inconclusive and toxicology tests won’t be known for several weeks, say reports. Yates was the mother to four daughters, three with Geldof and one from her relationship with Hutchence. Oddly, Geldof, whose marriage to Yates ended in 1995 when she left him for Hutchence, has been granted “interim care” of Heavenly Hiraani Tiger Lily, 4, Yates’s daughter with Hutchence, though Hutchence’s mother and half sister have moved to pursue custody. Geldof, who has had custody of his three daughters with Yates since 1995, released a statement in which he said, “Paula would have hated to see her girls split.”

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