Gay icon’s sister ‘died of a diabetic coma’

Melanie Panayiotou (L), sister of singer George Michael (R). (Dave Hogan/Getty Image/Rob Verhorst/Redferns)

Melanie Panayiotou, the sister of George Michael who passed away on the third anniversary of her brother’s death in 2019, died after falling into a diabetic coma, a coroner has said.

According to The Mirror, the 59-year-old’s cause of death – long veiled in secrecy – diabetic ketoacidosis, a severe complication of Type One diabetes.

Coroners concluded that Panayiotou died due to a lack of insulin and high blood sugar in March, the outlet said, after family sources claimed Panayiotou had died of a “broken heart”.

Sister of George Michael died ‘suddenly’ on Christmas Day due to diabetes, coroner says. 

The hairdresser was found at her north-west London, England, home by her sister Yioda on Christmas Day – the same day her pop star brother tragically passed away in 2016.

In her £6.2million residence, Panayiotou passed “suddenly” after a death was reported in the late hours of 25 December, authorities said.

A post-mortem was carried out by staff at Inner London North, certified by assistant coroner Jonathan Stevens.

In a statement to the Daily Mirror at the time of her death, the Metropolitan Police said: “Police were called by London Ambulance Service at approximately 7.35pm on Wednesday, 25 December, to reports of the sudden death of a woman, aged in her 50s, at an address in Oak Hill Park, NW3.

“The death is not being treated as suspicious by police.

“A report will be compiled for the coroner into the circumstances.”

A woman lays flowers among tributes outside the home of pop music icon George Michael in The Grove, Highgate on December 28, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Jack Taylor/Getty Images)

While a rep also informed the paper: “We can confirm that very tragically Melanie has passed away suddenly.

“We would simply ask that the family’s privacy be respected at this very sad time.

“There will be no further comments.”

Michael and Panayiotou were known for their warming bond, having affectionally called the gay musician ‘Yog’, and the pair regularly travelled the world together.

In November, Panayiotou spoke to the Big Issue about the Michael-inspired film Last Christmas, and how the film would have meant the world to her brother.

“As many of you know, Yog adored Christmas and he loved the idea of this film,” she said.

“I am sure he will be enjoying seeing Emilia (Clarke)’s amazing light bulb smile, something they share, across the celestial miles.

“And, most importantly, we all, together with our dear departed Yog (my ‘very proud to be gay’ brother – contrary to what you may have read recently!) wish a very merry, merry Christmas to Big Issue sellers and readers alike.”


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