Sunday, July 12, 2009

Secret will is latest twist in scandal surrounding the death of gay Australian music exec Peter Ikin

Looking for a juicy international scandal? Our mates in Australia tell us the dust still hasn't settled in the mysterious death last November of beloved music exec Peter Ikin, who dropped dead at 62 in a Paris hotel room-- possibly after a fall down a flight of stairs-- shortly after marrying a mysterious young Frenchman named Alexandre Despallieres who quickly cremated ole "PI" and poured the former evidence into an urn.

Now it turns out that young Alexandre not only got PI's ashes, he's also got his entire estate thanks to a "secret" will-- and his Aussie mates and journos alike smell somethng fishy.

Writes Sydney's Daily Telegraph:

"Despallieres, who told Ikin he was an internet billionaire dying from a brain tumour, has moved into Ikin's £3 million ($A5.8 million) Chelsea pad and emptied £2 million from his Channel Island bank accounts.

"Last week he was spending some of the money on a new Porsche for his personal assistant, Jeremy Bilien, home after a recent stint in London's famous celebrity Priory Hospital.

"Ikin and Despallieres had exchanged vows at Chelsea Town Hall on October 10. The executive died on November 12.

"Ikin's Sydney solicitor Peter Court, with whom he had lodged a 2002 will which did not mention Despallieres, only found out about the second will last month.

"It was signed on August 7, 2008 in Paris and not witnessed by a lawyer but by Mr Bilien and another friend of Despalliere's, Vincent Bray.

"Mr Court said he was deeply concerned to discover that the UK courts had already granted probate of the second will to Despallieres.

"In the 2002 will, drawn up by Mr Court, Ikin left his wealth to two Sydney charities, friends, his god children and his only blood relative, nephew Father Garry Perritt, a Sydney Catholic priest...

"The story of the millionaire showbiz identity, his young lover and their rock star life is one of passion and tragedy.

"Ikin was vice-chairman of the ARIA awards, joining Warner in 1975 and also working for EMI. Respected by the stars whose huge egos he managed to handle, including Fleetwood Mac, his friends knew him as warm-hearted and generous. He split his year between London and his Elizabeth Bay penthouse in Sydney.

"He loved travelling in style and always wore his signature gold Cartier bracelet and watch.

"When he first met Despallieres in 1988, Ikin had the money and the rock star contacts to make the world their playground, wooing the then 20-year-old in the heat of a Parisian summer and on the Californian coast in San Francisco.

"During their whirlwind romance, they met Ikin's friends who happened to be stars such as Elton John and Stewart...

"Taking delivery of the Porsche last week outside the Chelsea apartment in exclusive Cheyne Place, Despallieres, 42, laughed at the suggestion he had a brain tumour.

"He said he had been suffering from HIV for 23 years. Actress Britt Ekland, a friend of Ikin's through Rod Stewart's former manager Billy Gaff, has been helping care for him, taking him for short walks..."

Read the entire Telegraph story here.

Celebrity... money... gay marriage... disputed wills... and a cast of characters that spans the world.

Keep an eye on this one...

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