Herald Sun

Scrap custody laws: Geldof

Herald Sun (Australia)
17jun02

LONDON: Sir Bob Geldof has called for British child custody laws to be scrapped because they discriminate against fathers.

Geldof fought a bitter custody battle with his ex-wife Paula Yates when she left him for Australian rock star Michael Hutchence in 1994.

"I was handed a piece of paper saying, 'You may see your children on this day and every second weekend.' Why? What had I done?" the Irish rock star said in a television interview to be screened tonight.

"I saw them every day, I took them to school, I bathed them, fed them, cooked for them ... Why now was the state and all its instruments of justice aimed at me?"

Geldof and Yates shared custody of their three daughters until Yates died of an accidental heroin overdose in September 2000, almost three years after Hutchence died in a Sydney hotel room.

Geldof was given custody of Yates and Hutchence's daughter Tiger Lily after Yates' death.

He said the current laws were outdated and unfair.

"The law in effect is not so much biased towards the mother but very discriminatory against the father - extremely so," he said.

"I went through it and I was exposed to it and I just thought it was nonsensical. The law is inflexible and worse in this case ... it's fundamentally wrong. It should be scrapped and rewritten."

Geldof said he had received countless letters from fathers who had lost their children.

"I read them sobbing - I just can't believe what happens to people, what is done to them in the name of the law," he said.

© 2002 Herald and Weekly Times