Saturday, 17 December 2011

Van Hit By Double Tragedy

Fans of Van Morrison have been shocked by news recently that he has suffered a double tragedy this year in the space of months.  Both the mother of his 'lovechild' and the child himself have died this year.  Van had kept both deaths a secret until recently. 

George Ivan Morrison III died in January aged 13 months and his mother, American Gigi Ann Lee, died on October 7.  Miss Lee died at the Marie Curie Hospice in Kensington Road in East Belfast after a two year battle with throat cancer.  The circumstances of the infant's death were shrouded in mystery for some time. 

A post-mortem report showed that the child died after slipping into a diabetic coma. The child died on January 25, 2011, from hyperglycemia and obesity at Gigi Lee's home in Fort Worth, Texas.  Originally it had been reported that the baby had died in Belfast.  The baby is believed to have weighed almost 15 kilograms (33lbs) when he passed away.  
The post-mortem report carried out by deputy medical examiner Dr Shiping Bao at Tarrant County, Texas, said the child had been found unresponsive at his home.  He was formally pronounced dead at 2.32am at North Hills Hospital on January 25.  The report added there were no injuries or fractures and said there was no sign of trauma or foul play.
Blood tests showed a glucose reading of 426mg -- which would indicate extreme hyperglycemia -- extremely high blood sugar.  The report also revealed the child had suffered from a lower respiratory tract infection when aged just seven months.
The world became aware of the existence of Gigi Lee when someone posted on Van's official website that the baby she gave birth to was Van Morrison's.  This immediately set off a controversy which grew when Van claimed the baby wasn't his and he didn't even know Gigi Lee.  Reporters soon found evidence that the pair were linked through business and had been out together socially.  An investigation carried out by several newspapers in Britain found email exchanges between the two that suggested Lee really did have Morrison's baby, which led to the singer announcing the truth.     
Miss Lee died on October 7 but Van Morrison somehow managed to keep the news secret for two months.  The cancer was detected when Miss Lee found a lump in her neck in August or September in 2009.  Apparently, the tumour had wrapped itself around an artery so it couldn't be operated on.  Miss Lee elected not to have other treatments like radiation at the time in order to protect her unborn child.  Her baby, George Ivan Morrison III, was born several months later. 
After the birth of the baby, Miss Lee came to live in Northern Ireland.  Van set her up in a secluded house near Newtownards in County Down.  He supported her and the child financially while she was undergoing treatment for her cancer.  All this may explain Van's less-than-active performing and recording schedule in the last couple of years.  Van, Gigi and their child had been very rarely spotted in public.  They appeared determined to keep liaison from becoming public knowledge.  Morrison is still with his second wife Michelle Rocca, and had permission to visit Lee when she was sick, the Daily Mail reported.  He visited Lee regularly from his home in Killiney, south Dublin, which he shares with wife Michelle.

Texan Gigi Lee was a director of 14 of Van's music companies.  These companies included Exile Music and Listen to the Lion Films, but she resigned all positions in 2010.  She was also a tour manager when Van toured his re-released album Astral Weeks in the US in 2009.  
The deaths are a tragic blow to Van particularly as he has been an intensely private man and the details concerning Gigi Lee and her son will further fuel speculation about his private life.  He has spent years trying to keep the relationship under wraps and even went as far as issuing a series of court injunctions to try to stop the media reporting on the birth two years ago.
In Australia, there hasn't been any mention of the two deaths in any media whether online or not.  All information above comes from UK media sources.   


  1. Viewing this photograph immediately reveals to me a sense of fakery.
    I presume they are wax figures because they both look completely lifeless.
    Morrison's music is full of life and immensely more interesting than this sensationalized story.

  2. I'm not sure that I agree with your statement that this story is "sensationalized". I don't believe that this account of the actual story is "sensational" in any way. The FACTS of the story, however, are so bizarre that they are totally outside the experience of the average person. If Van had been a more popular artist with broader appeal the telemovie about all this would have already been screened.