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Coroner: "Hutchence Took His Own Life"

February 7, 1998 12:00 AM ET

INXS frontman Michael Hutchence was in a "severe depressed state" when he hung himself with his own belt on the morning of Nov. 22, according to findings announced by State Coroner Derrick Hand in New South Wales, Australia on Friday morning.

In his first conclusive remarks on the heels of a two-month investigation, Hand offered his condolences to Hutchence's family and concluded that "the deceased intended and did take his own life."

Distraught over a lengthy child custody battle being waged between his lover, actress/model Paula Yates and Sir Bob Geldof, her ex-husband, Hutchence mixed cocaine, vodka, beer, champagne and the antidepressant drug Prozac before taking his life in his Ritz-Carlton hotel room in Double Bay Australia.

Hutchence's lifeless body was found naked in a kneeling position near the door. The coroner's report theorizes that the singer's belt buckle broke loose from the belt, releasing the body to the floor.

Alluding to widespread speculation that Hutchence may have perished during an unusual sexual practice known as autoerotic asphyxiation, Hand acknowledged that "there is a presumption against suicide." Nonetheless, Hand concluded: "Having considered the [evidence], I am satisfied that the standard required to conclude that this death was a suicide has been reached."

New South Wales Police confirmed that their investigation is now considered closed.

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