August 18, 2008

Peaches Needs Stay-Away Bob


IF your teenage daughter had been rushed to hospital after she'd collapsed from a drug "episode" then run off to Vegas to get married, you'd be worried.

That is, worried enough to catch the next flight home.

But while Peaches Geld of lurches from one disaster to another, her only living parent was putting his feet up by the pool in Majorca.

If ever a girl needed a firm guiding hand, it's Sir Bob's second- eldest daughter. Pretty, bright and feisty, 19-year-old Peaches already has a dazzling media career and could have the world at her feet if she wasn't so hell-bent on self destruction. This troubled girl, who lost her mother Paula Yates to drugs has put out a clarion call for help, but you wonder if her father is hearing it loud and clear.

It's tough raising spirited daughters. I know, I have two of them. Most days you brace yourself for a battle of wills - whether it's what colour shoes to wear to how long they're allowed to play computer games. I dread to think how much worse it will get when they reach their teens.

But you learn pretty quickly that parenting is a tough, hands-on job. Sometimes I feel like the world's worst nag. I'd love to relax and play the Not Bovvered Mum card. But I know that if me or my husband don't teach the girls right from wrong, no one else will swoop in and do it for us. All we can hope is that the guidelines and values we instil in the girls now will give them a solid foundation in later life.

So I feel for Sir Bob, I really do. He's not only bringing up three daughters of his own, but has heroically taken on his late wife's daughter with Michael Hutchence, 12-year-old Tiger Lily. They all live together in a big bohemian house in London divided into flats joined by a spiral staircase-one for the girls and a nanny, and one for Sir Bob.

It's no secret that while Sir Bob has never spoiled his girls with material possessions, his commitments to music and his causes, ironically including Fathers For Justice, often take him away from home. As one friend of the family said, her daughter loved going around to the Geldofs' house "because the girls were entirely left to their own devices".

The Geldof girls lost their mother to heroin at a tragically early age. Sadly, Peaches was only 11 when her mother died - barely old enough to know or understand her. So you'd think these girls would need turbo-charged love and care from their remaining parent. As a family friend said of Peaches, "I don't think she's ever come to terms with the loss of her mother, so she's doing everything 100 per cent with her foot on the gas - because when she stops she gets quite melancholy."

Now that she's an adult, Peaches is learning the hard way that life is a minefield. She has already been branded a stroppy little madam on the celebrity circuit and was said to be so frightened by her drug collapse she decided to marry "the nicest boy she could find".

It didn't matter that she'd only been seeing American Max Drummey for a matter of weeks - he was the security blanket she craved.

So time to wake up, Sir Bob. Peaches' quickie marriage has "cry for help" written all over it. Your internal parental alarm bell should be clanging in your ears.

There's no question that you love your daughter ferociously.

I just hope that it's not too late for you both to put the life of this vulnerable teenager back on track.

(c) 2008 Sunday Mirror; London. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All rights Reserved.