Tina Hutchence speaks out

25 February, 2014 by Tina Hutchence

Justin Monjo, the screenwriter for INXS: Never Tear Us Apart, is 'puzzled' by a member of Michael's family being upset about the way in which he and his mother were portrayed?

With writing there comes integrity and I think by the mere fact that Mr Monjo and his writing partner limited their interviews to the 5 remaining members of the band and a manager who had not been with them in the last three years of Michael's life, he missed an opportunity to flush out the real story. I read somewhere that this series came across at an 'unauthorized Michael Hutchence expose' and I have to agree to a point.


Where were the interviews with Michael's friends? You wouldn't believe how many of them, angered, have approached me since this docu-fiction made its way to the little screen.

By the way, if you are going to include a libelous scene about our mother, it would probably be smart to at least speak to one person who was in the household at the time.

I don't care if the scene lasted three minutes or three seconds – it pictured our mother as an adulteress. Michael's father came off as the concerned, supportive dad. Jill Farriss came off as the loving, supportive mother that she was. There is no accident in this – her sons are alive and got to speak to the writer. Michael is no longer with us and neither is our mother. See where I am going with this?

Mr Monjo says that he was trying to depict that our mother had multiple marriages. Trust me, you missed your goal. Judging by the emails and support I have had on my Facebook and website, there is no way anyone thought that scene did anything else but paint our mother as the mother from hell.

Multiple marriages? Our mother was married for the first time at age 18 and a year later she gave birth to me. She was much too young and had ambitions of making something of herself. She was divorced by the time she was 21 when she became a sought-after model.

She married Kell Hutchence at age 30 when she was a successful makeup artist. Michael was born a year later, Rhett two years after that. They divorced after 17 years.

Some time after that she remarried and it lasted only 2 years.

At age 62 she finally married the love of her life, the wonderful, much decorated retired Group Captain, Ross Glassop, and it lasted until his death 19 years later. One year later our mother passed. I applaud and rejoice those people who found their soulmate at an early age. That didn't happen for our mother.

Our mother worked 10 and 12 hour days on soap operas and motion pictures – that left little time for affairs. How could the band allow such a scene to be included and what did it have to do with the story of INXS?

Did you know that it was our mother who encouraged Michael to go join the band in Perth? Kell thought it a bad idea, thought Michael should have been working at a bank. He told Michael he should get these silly ideas of music out of his head and get a real job. How do I know? Because Michael joked about this. Now there's a story.

No wonder we didn't get a true representation of anything. How one sided can you get. Where were the inner conflicts of the band, the jealousies? Believe me, there was plenty of politicking and jealousies. But that would be according to friends, and girlfriends and family – Michael's. Because the band would not want people to know that they were jealous of his popularity and it is ludicrous to believe there were none.

What bothers me is that Mr Monjo dismisses this as an insignificant thing and that we just didn't get it. Well, actually we did get it, along with my mother's grandchildren. Rhett's children, my children and yes – Michael's child. Tigerlily? The teenager who INXS now want to get to know? She will now have a picture of her grandmother as an adulteress.









  • Jessica

    Get over yourself Tina, are you upset because you are not mentioned? Didn’t even know you existed. Don’t make it about something else to get your 5 minutes of fame… The miniseries was awesome, It is going to make a lot of new money for INXS. Get over it. Talking jealousy, seams you have your own fair share of it going on.

  • Lynda Anderson-Lockett

    Very well said. I applaud you on speaking out on behalf of your family & your late brother. Having been a massive fan of INXS since very early 80″s, I waited in mad anticipation to watch “the mini-series”, but was so utterly disappointed. The comments between myself & my partner were along the lines of “how must Michael’s family be feeling about this right now”? I feel the remaining band members have now somewhat tainted the image of INXS, though probably more themselves than that of your brother. Once again, well said. I will keep my memories of seeing the band live in the early days, & often still listen to them.

  • Jane Hutchence

    Nothing you say has any credence simply because you are NOT a “Hutchence”. You are only using that name to cash in on Michael’s fame. Shame on you. You are sad and pathetic.

  • Elise

    I think it was a lovely portrayal of Michael as a talented and sensitive frontman to INXS – and that is all that should matter, in the end. Your comments do nothing but downplay the lovely legacy that is INXS.

  • Alex

    Loved the mini series, but the above story on Tina sounds like she is jealous because she was not in the series.

  • Shirley Vasquez

    Tina I totally see where you are coming from! To make a true story like that and not go to you or any members of the family and Michaels friends to get the correct story is a joke! To me I watched the show because of your brother! He was the only true talent there! There must have been so much jealousy from the other band meets about his popularity and celebrity status as none of them have it only he did!! INXS would have been nobody with out Michael! Very sad he is not with us! The true story of Michael lies with you Tina and your family! And you are entitled to proceeds from anything that is about your brother! Now they are going to make money and they just want to be famous once more but yet again even in his death it’s Michael making it happen for them! I applaud you Tina for writing this article! God Bless you and your family! RIP Michael!

  • Tracey Gibson

    Tina, I can totally see where you are coming from.. And while I like to think that the mini series was quite good and interesting to look back at the early days of INXS..

    I do think that the producers should have gotten information from you and the rest of Michaels family to find out from you what he was like, how he was after his accident etc…..

    I pray that you and the rest of Michaels family can find peace with how he and the rest of INXS were portrayed in the mini series..

    Many Blessings.. RIP Michael.

  • Cathryn Guthrie

    Tina, the miniseries was about Michael and the band INXS, not about his family. He was a great artist and is very sadly missed. Tiger lily should be very proud of him.

  • Pas Cotte

    I was young when INXS were in their prime and as I got older I appreciated their music a lot more and the death of Michael Hutchence facinates me more now than before because I could not understand how the law could have taken a child from his own family. Watching the mini movie and reading your story I could understand where you are coming from. However what shocked me the most what their interview with the show Sunday Night on channel 7 which repeated stories that have been surfacing all over the world for the past 17 years, which proves that the remaining INXS band members are there to make money and are fooling people with there lies.. Kirk Pengilly alleged that he was holding a 16 year old secret which was that Michael admitted to him weeks before that he was leaving Paula while searching the youtube real footage and interviews of Michael I found an interview with Tina and his late mother mentioning that Micheal was planning to leave Paula back in the year 2000 almost 13 years ago… here is the link to that video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OOlRGJ6lQ54… Michael once said that media are manipulating the public in portraying people the way media wants the public to see them and in this case he is so right and the worse thing out of this is it came from his band members who claim that they were all like family… I am very disappointed and hope that his daughter does not use this mini series as a source to an insight to her late father and instead go straight to the Hutchense family and watches the interviews of him on youtube because what I got from it was that he was this amazingly smart man who was really down to earth which was not how he was portrayed in INXS: never tear us apart

  • Jessica

    How’s Tina’s planned biopic of her brother going at the moment?

  • Jessica

    Shirley Vasques: what a silly comment that he was the only talent! They were all talented and they made it work. Don’t forget Michael Hutchence did not write the music. It was the combination of all their talent, and his charismatic sexiness and timing that made them so huge.

  • Kerry

    Very interesting to read the above comment by Jane Hutchence!! I am a huge INXS fan, always was and always will be…I loved Michael but although he was a wonderful lead singer he was a member of an incredible band..he wasn’t INXS on his own! Ok so the mini series may have been one sided and a little embellished…it bought back some wonderful memories & may have even introduced some youngsters to the brilliance of INXS. Those incredible scenes of Wembly stadium just gave me goose bumps & also in a way made me proud to have known & loved INXS. RIP Micheal…you are truly missed xx

  • Ksenia

    Tina, my heart is with you. It is always SO HARD to stand up to the crowd when you’re the only one who’s actually “been there”. And the only one to protect the ones you loved. And you’re absolutely right when you speak out. Hold on. God bless you and all the children in the big family.

  • Elle Rossi

    Jessica, you need to BACK OFF.
    You have NO manners and NO right to even say these things.
    Your opinion is unfounded, it is just your opinion.
    People like you sicken me.
    Tina has every right to put forward her defense.
    You, however do NOT.

    “Get over yourself Tina, are you upset because you are not mentioned? Didn’t even know you existed. Don’t make it about something else to get your 5 minutes of fame… The miniseries was awesome, It is going to make a lot of new money for INXS. Get over it. Talking jealousy, seams you have your own fair share of it going on.
    Posted by Jessica. 25/02/2014 03:33:17 PM”

  • Vess

    All answers are in the book JUST A MAN!!

  • Auzie Dude

    I can’t believe the nasty, vicious and thoughtless things people say in their comments. How can you even imagine that you have any love Michael if you don’t acknowledge the members of his family. Tina is Michael’s big sister she was the one person Michael confided in about his plans to leave Paula. He went to visit her before his return to Sydney for the Australian tour that never was. I don’t blame her for being upset with the portrayal of her and Michael’s Mother Patricia put yourself in her shoes. just because Tina and Michael have different Fathers doesn’t make her no less his sister.
    The 2 main contributors to the Mini series though 2 episodes would hardly constitute an mini series but anyway were 1. Chris Murphy no surprise that he portrayed himself as the one and only person responsible for the success of the INXS. It’s a wonder Michael and the rest of the band got a mention at all and 2. Tim Farriss who cast himself as a very tall, good looking charismatic, easy going guy.I have always seen Tim as the grumpy brother often an angry little man with a very short fuse. Trouble is they all forget we have been along for the ride and we all have good memories. It was Michael with the support of Andrew, that stood up to the record company over songs on the Kick album, not Chris Murphy. I recall Andrew Farriss acknowledging that, I think at Michael’s funeral and again when INXS accepted the hall of fame Aria.

  • Julz

    I am %100 percent behind you Tina.. People will always point the finger at anyone whom has the truth to say, only because those people don’t like it.. I believe in my heart that Michael would have been crying tears of shame about the reasons behind the series..& would be totally disgusted that his life has been put out there in such a way.. The series depicted scenes that were put together by assumptions..the Paula & Michael private scene…the alone times of Michael.. His secrets & private life are not public property they belong to him, his family his loved ones.. His fans are not his loved ones, we are but people whom idolised him from afar..& I am a huge INXS fan, always have been always will be..I know Michael was a staunch family person..he wouldn’t think kindly of nor give anyone the time of day that insulted his blood.. So for all those who have insulted Tina, Michael’s sister in some form of misguided defence ..Michael would turn away from you as a person in a flash… & for all those of you whom claim to idolise the man… you should know this…

  • Kirsten

    As a friend of Michael’s i agree. I heard from his mouth his story, his issues. That doco was just self serving to the boring lot that were the band and the self serving creature that was Chris Murphy. I could barely watch it. So many inaccuracies. It made me ill.

  • Gia Pantlin

    It burns to know you received no legacy from Michael. But truly it was a fairly accurate depiction of how Michael felt about his family
    We all know of the inner turmoil within the band
    We all followed with great interest as it happened
    This miniseries, was to ramp up sales and test the waters for a Tour !
    I also think it is so Andrew can let go of Michael
    That’s why they can’t continue Andrew is heartbroken

  • Coralie cooper

    Don’t worry we aren’t all silly. This never tear us apart movie and the mass marketing that came afterwards was a very obvious attempt to cash in one last time in the INXS cash cow train. It was a grubby attempt to wipe their hands clean and conveniently blame the bands shortcomings on the now dead Michael hutchence. After watching it I came to the conclusion that it was a very one sided account and not much attempt was made to research anyone who knew Michael hutchence other than the band members and the manager. I must admit I turned it off in the end and didn’t even watch the whole thing because it was such an obvious attempt at one last grab for cash. I’m disappointed with the surviving band members. This movie made them look cheap and grubby.

  • Kcin

    Wow, I can’t honestly say what’s true or not as far as this story goes, but I can’t believe the spite and hate coming through some of these messages. Seems like there’s a whole miniseries here alone!

  • Jessica

    I can imagine that the assumption would be very upsetting. It must have been a quick moment because I don’t recall it.
    As for the rest of the series, I thought it was very good. It was really about the band and that was told by those closest. A TV production has a certain amount of boxes it must tick and screenplays have a definitive style to them that can’t work in a book for example, so a little artistic license is always taken with ‘true life’ stories.
    To be fair, families aren’t unbiased either. Everyone has an agenda of sorts, well meaning or not.

  • Nick

    In the end I feel sorry that it ended the way it did for INXS and that was with Michael passing.

    Growing up in the 80’s I was bullied at school and it was only when the school bully grabbed my walkman off me and then listened that it was Shabooh Shoobah – that he turned around and said to his mates and said “Leave off Nick”

    As soon as I could save up enough as a kid – I bought “The Swing”. Played that until it wore out.

    Can’t we just leave out the BS about what happened with the band and just enjoy their legacy? Sooo many memories – and I did see them live and that was awesome.

    INXS were and are iconic – and to every kid that grew up in the 80’s.

    Hash tag – just sayin…

  • Lesia Hrubyj

    Hi Tina,
    Thank you for sharing your side of the story as there are always two sides to it, not to mention three.
    I suppose the portrayal of your mother Patricia (I have worked with her in the past as I am doing continuity) was simply to benefit the drama series and to stimulate the viewers with an absence of the truth. I also belief you do have the right to speak out as a family member, as Michael’s sister no matter what.
    As to the band itself I used to love INXS and still do love their songs up to 1997. However, to me INXS is now only a brand name as their front man is no longer with them and that’s what’s missing. No doubt that all band members are fabulous musicians but their current music story has become a story without a poet and legend. Bless him. x

  • Kath

    I can fully understand Tina wanting to defend her mother, as she really was shockingly portrayed in this mini-series. And what’s this business about showing she had multiple marriages? I didn’t get that from the scene – what I got was that she spent her days drinking wine and entertaining men she WASN’T married to.

    Prior to this, I never bought into the whole “INXS guys cashing in on Michael” thing, but having seen the doco last Sunday I’ve reluctantly changed my viewpoint. Did we really need to hear Gary Beers refer to Michael, after the Copenhagen assault, as a “prick”? Takes one to know one perhaps. And as for Kirk’s “huge” secret, kept for 16 years – please. He had no reason to reveal that apart from his own self promotion. And he obviously gave no thought to how Tiger would feel, hearing that her father was telling others that he planned to leave her mother. I can’t believe these guys need the money – it’s just shameful.

  • Annie

    Perhaps the people who haven’t spoken publicly, written books and appeared on TV telling everything they know about Michael are the ones who genuinely cared about and respected him. Arguments, bickering and dragging his life out for a world that is so desperately hungry for every last detail is demeaning and disrespectful. Was it the intense scrutiny of his life, the stories, and the viciousness that contributed to his sadness and depression? The intense despair, hopelessness and helplessness that leads someone to end their life seems to have been forgotten. It is heartbreaking that Michael died this way. Shame on all of them who are still trying to squeeze every last drop of money, publicity – whatever – out of Michael Hutchence.

  • rickie

    Amazing someone who died 20 years ago still elicits such passion. What’s missing in this story is the killer: Prozac. SSRI drugs kill over 10% of its users (from a Doctor friend) because they mess with the brains ability to discern reality. Like Ambien’s warning (on website not the package) “You may awake and not know who you are” which killed Heath. Prozac murdered Michael and to try and make it about emotional issues surrounding him is to miss the point. Many people take Prozac and are helped by it – but every mass shooting in the US since Columbine has SSRI drugs involved. Its a shame no one paid attention to this end of the story, blaming a person’s life for killing him, when it was the silly twit who prescribed him the Drug. Just search these facts if you don’t believe me.

  • Mimi

    Wow! It’s amazing to hear so much anger and fighting. I can understand Tina’s unhappiness because she and her mom Michael’s family. However, I believe everyone’s experience with a person, especially members of any band or person in the arts is very different. I always take biopics with a grain of salt. I was in the music business during the late 70s and 80s. I hung out with punk bands and funk bands in NYC. I actually was at MTV when the video for “The One Thing” premiered and met lots of musicians and music people. I learned that everyone’s relationship is it’s own individual story. I thought the mini-series was alright, but I knew there would be embellishments. I now work at the top cable network and have been in the industry for over 25 years so I’m aware of scripts. There are currently a ton of books about Michael Hutchence. Some by family members, the band with a respected co-writer in the industry and others. I believe the only person who knew the real Michael Hutchence was Michael. We will never know everything about him so I like to remember him in the description Kylie gave of him, that was lovely. He was very Byroness and beautiful. As for the money thing. I read money is going directly to Tiger Lily, so I wouldn’t accuse the band of being greedy or selfish. I also believe that Andrew and Jon Farriss have the greatest love for Michael. The band members may not be perfect. But after all, they too are just men.