George Michael's sister left just £6m when she died at 59

George Michael’s sister left just £6m when she died at 59 exactly three years after her brother’s death – despite inheriting large slice of singer’s £97million fortune

  • Records show George Michael’s sister Melanie, 59, left a £6.2million estate
  • The hairdresser died Christmas Day 2019, exactly three years after George, 53 
  • Their elder sister Yioda, 63, now lives in the late singer’s north London home
  • Yioda and Melanie said to be main beneficiaries of George’s £97million fortune 

George Michael’s sister left an estate worth £6million after she died without leaving a will.

The late pop legend’s £97million fortune is thought to have been divided between his elder sisters Yioda, 63, and Melanie – who died on Christmas Day 2019 aged 59.

But when Melanie’s affairs were settled, probate papers show her assets were worth £6.2million, The Sun reports.

Hairdresser Melanie is said to have struggled to come to terms with her brother’s death, which occurred exactly three years earlier on Christmas Day 2016.

Confirmed: George Michael’s sister Melanie Panayiotou’s estate was worth £6.2million, despite being one of the two main beneficiaries of his £97million fortune (Pictured together in the 1980s)

Hairdresser Melanie (left), 59, died on Christmas Day 2019 after falling into a diabetic coma, exactly three years after the death of George Michael (right), 53, who died on Christmas Day 2016

George Michael with Andrew Ridgeley and sister Melanie Panayiotou at Live Aid in Wembley Stadium, 1985

At the time of her funeral, the cause of Ms Panayiotou’s death was unknown, but police were not treating it as suspicious. 

But The Mirror reported she ‘died after falling into a diabetic coma’ while suffering from diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA).

Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is a serious complication of diabetes that occurs when the body produces high levels of blood acids called ketones.    

A post-mortem was carried out, and, according to the publication, Melanie’s cause of death was certified by Assistant Coroner for Inner London North, Jonathan Stevens.

Pictured: Melanie (seen second from right) with her parents (left), George (centre) and older sister Yioda (right)

Diabetic coma: According to a reporter, Melanie Panayiotou died after falling into a diabetic coma as a result of diabetic ketoacidosis (Pictured in December 2005)

It reportedly states that Melanie: ‘died from diabetic ketoacidosis, a complication caused by lack of insulin and sky-high blood sugar.’

What is diabetic ketoacidosis?

Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is a serious complication of diabetes that occurs when your body produces high levels of blood acids called ketones.

DKA was first described in 1886 and, until the introduction of insulin therapy in the 1920s, it was almost universally fatal.

Today the risk of death with adequate and timely treatment is currently around one to four per cent.

Symptoms of a DKA episode include nausea and vomiting, pronounced thirst, excessive urine production and abdominal pain.

According to figures just four per cent of people with type 1 diabetes develop DKA each year.

Diabetes was given as an underlying cause of death, while ‘other significant conditions contributing to her death were hypertensive heart disease, obesity and bronchopneumonia,’ according to the report.

Following Michael’s death at his home in Goring-on-Thames, Oxfordshire, in 2016, his sister Ms Panayiotou, who never married and had no children, shared the £97 million fortune left in his will with older sister Yioda. 

Ms Panayiotou’s body was found by her sister at the home in North London, previously owned by her brother on Christmas Day 2019.  

Sources at the time said she had become a near recluse in her final years since her brother’s untimely death.

As well as travelling the world with Michael, the hairdresser became a regular on the London nightclub scene in the early 1990s. 

Like her brother, however, she was devastated by the death of their mother Lesley in 1997.

When Michael later began a well publicised battle with drugs and alcohol, she devoted herself to preventing him being consumed by his demons.

Sources say she was ‘heartbroken’ and in ‘desperate pain’ when she failed. 

It was reported that Ms Panayiotou would be buried alongside her brother’s unmarked grave at Highgate Cemetery, where the late siblings’ mother is also buried. 

Their father, Kyriacos ‘Jack’ Panayiotou, is still alive, along with older sister Yioda.

Certified: Melanie’s cause of death was reportedly certified in March, by Assistant Coroner for Inner London North, Jonathan Stevens (Pictured in 1986)

George Michael’s eldest sister Yioda (pictured), 63, discovered her sister Melanie’s body at the late singer’s former home in Highgate, north London, on Christmas Day 2019

A source said at the time that she would ‘definitely’ get a headstone, unlike Michael, because his family did not not want it to become a mecca for fans.

After Michael’s death in 2016, his two sisters and cousin Alex Georgiou became embroiled in a spat with the singer’s partner Fadi Fawaz, 48, over his estate.

Fawaz, a former hairdresser from Lebanon, was the one who discovered Michael’s body at home on December 25, 2016. 

But Michael, whose real name was Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou, had left Fawaz nothing in his £96.7million will.

In February 2021, Fawaz had filmed himself ranting about his love of smoking Class A drug crystal meth on Instagram. In October last year, he was fined £420 after vandalising a historic London church with graffiti.

How the singer shared out vast £97m fortune 

The singer left £97,645,179 in his will – but there was nothing for boyfriend Fadi Fawaz.

After George Michael died on Christmas Day in 2016 Fawaz, 46 – who found the body – based himself in his £5million mews house in Regent’s Park, central London.

He left earlier this year after being arrested for causing ‘significant’ damage inside the property. Fawaz was seen living in a Travelodge in central London, and apparently later sleeping rough.

Instead, Michael’s will stipulated his property and personal belongings went in equal shares to sisters Yioda and Melanie. His father Jack got a stud farm in Hertfordshire ‘for so long as he wishes’.

Paintings and art including his John Lennon piano (which is on display at a museum in Yorkshire) were to go to the trustees of the Mill Charitable Trust – a charity which Michael set up in 2009 to give money away to other charities.

The remainder of the estate was to be sold by the trustees then divided as they saw fit between his father, sisters, Shirlie Kemp, Kay Mayer (Beckenham), David Austin, Michelle May, Alex Giorgiou, Connie Filippo and Sonia Bird.

Or it can be given to a charity or charitable cause as chosen by the trustees at their ‘absolute discretion.’

The executors and trustees are lawyer Christopher Organ and his sister Yioda.

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