Belfast Telegraph

Stephen Gately's family hurt by 'wild' drugs rumours

Stephen Gately's family are "shocked and surprised" by the wild speculation surrounding the cause of his death.

His family have moved to quash the rumours and innuendo, saying: "It's awful, the allegations from suicide, drugs, alcohol poisoning to murder and eight-hour drinking binges."

A post mortem carried out by Spanish authorities confirmed that the Boyzone star died from natural causes, but today there have been unsupported claims that cannabis may have been a factor.

Speaking on behalf of the Gately family, lawyer Gerald Kean said: "It's so hurtful and wrong."

He said that Stephen's parents Martin and Margaret are "shocked and surprised by the amount of groundless speculation around such a tragedy".

He added: "It's also sad that poor Andrew [Stephen's husband] had to issue a statement to explain that their friend [Georgi Dochev] stayed in a spare room."

Mr Kean said that some people were just refusing to accept that the singer's death was a simple tragedy.

"The post mortem results confirmed it, and it was clear from the start, that Stephen died from natural causes.

"His death was not caused by drink, it was not caused by drugs. They didn't contribute to Stephen's death."

The family hope that by outlining their position in such strong terms that speculation will stop.

"The very fact that he [Andrew Cowles] had to clarify they lived in a two-bedroom apartment. It's sad that we find ourselves having to do all this."

He noted that much of the inaccurate reporting has come through the foreign press who were "just looking to fill a void for a few days".

The lawyer described Stephen's parents as "quiet, shy people" who are "trying to come to terms their loss".

"They are very grateful for the support of everybody and have tried to protect their own privacy. They are a private family and are trying to do everything to get over this."

Mr Kean could not say whether their reaction to the "wild speculation will turn to anger later", but he noted: "Andrew is probably as upset as anybody to have to issue a statement like that."

An autopsy revealed that Stephen died as a result of a congenial heart defect that is hereditary on his father's side of the family.

"That should have been it," said Mr Kean, adding: "All they want to do now is give him the send off he would have wanted."

He had been out with his husband Andrew and some friends in a Majorcan nightclub before falling asleep on the couch of their home and never waking up.

Mr Kean also noted that the four remaining members of Boyzone have been a tower of strength for the family.

They will fly back to Majorca today to accompany Stephen on his family journey to Dublin.

In a glowing tribute, Mr Kean said: "Andrew, the Gately family and myself want to say how honoured and happy we are that Ronan, Keith, Mikey and Shane are playing such an important role in the entire process.

"They are helping to ensure things happen in a fashion that Stephen, himself, would want.

"They are four wonderful friends and young men. They have been incredible ambassadors for Ireland abroad and Stephen was the same.

"The four reflect all the great virtues of Stephen Gately."

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph