It’s been 23 years since the world lost INXS frontman Michael Hutchence and on Monday, his former girlfriend, supermodel Helena Christensen took to Instagram to pay tribute to her former flame on the anniversary of his tragic death.
Sharing a series of black and white photographs of the former couple, the 51-year-old accompanied the snaps with a touching sentiment.
“Am organizing hundreds of Polaroids and came across these, today of all days,” she shared. “Michael was a very beautiful and kind man, incredibly gifted and soulful. We had the best time and laughed a lot in the years we spent together but eventually we just drifted apart.
“I think I felt too young for the responsibility it takes being with someone older who lived a very different life,” the 90s fashion icon continued. “And he prob felt the same way. But we never stopped caring about each other. Today I’m sending him love from earth and remembering the sweet, tender, funny, smart man he was.”
After meeting in 1991, the Danish beauty and the Australian musician dated and lived together on and off in France and Denmark for five years. In the documentary Mystify: Michael Hutchence, Christensen described their relationship as “joyful, sweet, deep and emotional” and marked by “total mental and physical chemistry.”
In August 1992, Helena Christensen and Hutchence were walking late at night on a street in Copenhagen after drinking heavily when he refused to move for a taxi. The taxi driver then assaulted him, causing him to fall backwards and hit his head on the roadway. The “Need You Tonight” singer suffered a fractured skull in the altercation.
“He was unconscious and there was blood coming out of his mouth and ear,” Christensen recalled, as reported Marie Claire. “I thought he was dead. We got to the hospital and he woke up and was aggressive. They were trying to make him stay but he was physically pushing them away.”
Hutchence left the hospital and did not immediately seek medical assistance for the injury, instead waiting several days before seeing a doctor. As a result, his fractured skull left him with an almost complete loss of the sense of smell and significant loss of taste. Growing “dark and very angry” according to Christensen, the injury led to periods of depression and increased levels of aggression.
“When I have children, I will never be able to smell my baby,” Christensen remembers him saying.
The model stayed by her partner’s side for years but eventually his turbulent and unpredictable mood swings were too much to take.
“Something drastic happened,” she admitted. “I was deeply sad, confused and bewildered, but at the same time it couldn’t have continued that way.”
The high-profile relationship came to an end in 1995. The rockstar later dated Paula Yates and welcomed daughter, Heavenly Hiraani Tiger Lily Hutchence in 1996. The Victoria’s Secret model went on to date actor Norman Reedus and had a son, Mingus Lucien Reedus in 1999.
Hutchence was found dead on November 22, 1997 at the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Double Bay, Sydney. He took his own life by way of hanging, while depressed and under the influence of alcohol and other drugs, just seven months after INXS released their 10th album ‘Elegantly Wasted.” He was 37-years-old.
In 2002, the Nylon magazine co-founder told The Guardian she believes Hutchence’s death was a mistake.
“‘I’m sure he never meant to do what he did. It was a terrible mistake,” she said. “The first thing I’m going to do when I get up there [pointing skywards] is ask him, ‘What were you thinking of?'”.