Mystery of George Michael's £97M fortune: Popstar's sister left £6m

Mystery over George Michael’s £97M fortune: Late popstar’s sister left just £6m when she died at 59 exactly thee years after brother’s death – despite inheriting large slice of his vast estate

  • Mystery surrounds the fate of late singer George Michael’s £97million fortune
  • Records show George Michael’s sister Melanie, 59, left a £6.2million estate
  • The hairdresser died Christmas Day 2019, exactly three years after George, 53 
  • She and elder sister Yioda, 63, were main beneficiaries of Michael’s estate

Mystery surrounds the fate of George Michael’s £97million fortune after his sister – one of the two beneficiaries of his estate – left far lower assets when she died without leaving a will.

Probate records show the bulk of the pop legend’s £97million fortune was left to his elder sisters Yioda, 63, and Melanie – who died on Christmas Day 2019 aged 59.

When Melanie’s affairs were settled, probate papers show her assets were worth just £6.2million, The Sun reports.

Hairdresser Melanie is said to have struggled to come to terms with her brother’s death, which occurred exactly three years earlier on Christmas Day 2016.

Confirmed: George Michael’s sister Melanie Panayiotou’s estate was worth £6.2million, despite being one of the two main beneficiaries of his £97million fortune (Pictured together in the 1980s)

Hairdresser Melanie (left), 59, died on Christmas Day 2019 after falling into a diabetic coma, exactly three years after the death of George Michael (right), 53, who died on Christmas Day 2016

Fadi Fawaz, 45, was in a relationship with George Michael from 2012 until the singer’s death

The 53-year-old singer left £97,645,179 in his will – notably leaving nothing for partner Fadi Fawaz, 49, who discovered Michael’s body at his home in Goring-on-Thames on Christmas Day 2016.

Michael’s will, dated January 10, 2013, stipulated his property and personal belongings would be shared equally between sisters Yioda and Melanie. 

His father Kyriacos ‘Jack’ Panayiotou was handed the use of Michael’s horse stud farm in Hertfordshire ‘for so long as he wishes’.

Paintings and art including his John Lennon piano (which is on display at a museum in Yorkshire) were to go to the trustees of the Mill Charitable Trust – a charity which Michael set up in 2009 to give money away to other charities.

The remainder of the estate was to be sold by the trustees then divided as they saw fit between his father, sisters, Shirlie Kemp, Kay Mayer (Beckenham), David Austin, Michelle May, Alex Georgiou, Connie Filippo and Sonia Bird.

Or it can be given to a charity or charitable cause as chosen by the trustees at their ‘absolute discretion.’

The executors and trustees are lawyer Christopher Organ and his sister Yioda

George Michael with Andrew Ridgeley and sister Melanie Panayiotou at Live Aid in Wembley Stadium, 1985

The Mirror reported Ms Panayiotou ‘died after falling into a diabetic coma’ while suffering from diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA). 

DKA is a serious complication of diabetes that occurs when the body produces high levels of blood acids called ketones. 

A post-mortem was carried out and her cause of death was later certified by Assistant Coroner for Inner London North, Jonathan Stevens.

It stated Ms Panayiotou died from diabetic ketoacidosis, a complication caused by a lack of insulin and sky-high blood sugar.

Diabetes was given as an underlying cause of death, while ‘other significant conditions’ included hypertensive heart disease, obesity and bronchopneumonia.

Pictured: Melanie (seen second from right) with her parents (left), George (centre) and older sister Yioda (right)

Diabetic coma: According to a medical report, Melanie Panayiotou died after falling into a diabetic coma as a result of diabetic ketoacidosis (Pictured in December 2005)

What is diabetic ketoacidosis?

Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is a serious complication of diabetes that occurs when your body produces high levels of blood acids called ketones.

DKA was first described in 1886 and, until the introduction of insulin therapy in the 1920s, it was almost universally fatal.

Today the risk of death with adequate and timely treatment is currently around one to four per cent.

Symptoms of a DKA episode include nausea and vomiting, pronounced thirst, excessive urine production and abdominal pain.

According to figures just four per cent of people with type 1 diabetes develop DKA each year.

Ms Panayiotou’s body was found by her sister at the home in North London, previously owned by her brother, on Christmas Day 2019.  

Sources at the time said she had become a near recluse in her final years since her brother’s untimely death.

As well as travelling the world with Michael, the hairdresser became a regular on the London nightclub scene in the early 1990s. 

Like her brother, however, she was devastated by the death of their mother Lesley in 1997.

When Michael later began a highly publicised battle with drugs and alcohol, she devoted herself to preventing him being consumed by his demons.

Sources say she was ‘heartbroken’ and in ‘desperate pain’ when she failed. 

It was reported that Ms Panayiotou would be buried alongside her brother’s unmarked grave at Highgate Cemetery, where the late siblings’ mother is also buried. 

Their father Jack is still alive, along with older sister Yioda.

A source said at the time that Ms Panayiotou would ‘definitely’ get a headstone, unlike Michael, because his family did not not want it to become a mecca for fans.

Certified: Melanie’s cause of death was reportedly certified in March, by Assistant Coroner for Inner London North, Jonathan Stevens (Pictured in 1986)

George Michael’s eldest sister Yioda (pictured), 63, discovered her sister Melanie’s body at the late singer’s former home in Highgate, north London, on Christmas Day 2019

After Michael’s death in 2016, his two sisters and cousin Alex Georgiou became embroiled in a spat with the singer’s partner Fadi Fawaz, 49, over his estate.

Fawaz, a former hairdresser from Lebanon, was the one who discovered Michael’s body at home on December 25, 2016. 

But Michael, whose real name was Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou, left Fawaz nothing in his will.

In February 2021, Fawaz filmed himself ranting about his love of smoking the Class A drug crystal meth on Instagram. In October last year, he was fined £420 after vandalising a historic London church with graffiti.

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