Another sad holiday death to report…
One of George Michael’s sisters, Melanie Panayiotou, 55, died on Christmas Day, three years to the day after her older brother.
A lawyer for the family has issued a statement saying:
“We can confirm that very tragically Melanie has passed away suddenly.
We would simply ask that the family’ s privacy be respected at this very sad time.”
No cause of death has yet been revealed.
Her body was reportedly found at her north London home at around 7pm on Christmas evening by her sister, older sister, Yioda Panayiotou.
A statement from London’s Metropolitan Police said,
“Police were called by London Ambulance Service at approximately 7.35pm on Wednesday, December 25 to reports of the sudden death of a woman, aged in her 50s, at an address in Oak Hill Park, NW3.
The death is not being treated as suspicious by police.
A report will be compiled for the Coroner into the circumstances.”
Both of George’s sisters were close to their brother and were devastated by his death on Christmas Day in 2016. He left a large portion of his $125million estate to them, including his residence in Hampstead, north London where he lived and died.
In November, Melanie wrote a piece for the Big Issue (a magazine produced for homeless people to sell on the streets) ahead of the release of the movie, Last Chrismas. The film features the music of George Michael and Wham. (“Yog” was the family nickname for George.) She said,
“My family and I hope you all enjoy the film, and Yog’s music old and new, woven beautifully into this fun, easy tale of love and self-love.”
As many of you know, Yog adored Christmas and he loved the idea of this film. I am sure he will be enjoying seeing Emelia [Clark]’s amazing light bulb smile, something they share, across the celestial miles!
And, most importantly, we all, together with our dear departed Yog (my ‘very proud to be gay’ brother — contrary to what you may have read recently!) wish a very merry, merry Christmas to Big Issue sellers and readers alike.”
The comment about her ‘proud-to-be gay” brother was apparently in response to comments Elton John had made about Michael being uncomfortable about his sexuality.
(Photo, screen grab; via Queerty)