(Sunday Times, November 8, 1998)

Posted by Sharon Lee

Veteran Bee Gee Barry Gibb is reliving the horrors of drug addiction after his eldest son Stephen, 24, was admitted to a rehabilitation clinic in Missouri, US.

Ten years ago Barry's youngest brother, Andy, was found dead in a seedy Miami hotel after a marathon binge on cocaine and alcohol (
Not true. Andy Gibb died in England. The cause of death was miocarditis, an inflamation of the tissues surrounding the heart. Even though the autopsy found no drugs or alcohol in Andy's system, the tabloids immediately called his death a cocaine overdose). Andy, who was 30 and a successful singer, had suffered a fatal heart attack.

Barry and his wife of 28 years, Linda, found out about their guitarist son's addiction five months ago when Stephen visited his parents at their R300-million Miami home. Stephen, who has had an alcohol problem for years, was introduced to heroin by a girlfriend. He told his parents about his addiction shortly before checking himself into a rehabilitation clinic. But Barry is under no illusions about the trauma of kicking the habit. 

He has not forgotten the nightmare of his brother's addiction. Andy was always going to give up drugs, said a close friend: "He went to clinics - and he told Barry a million times he'd kicked drugs. But he never did. And addiction killed him."

So, for the time being, Barry is being cautiously optimistic about his son's progress. Stephen has since moved to a drug centre in Miami. From there he will move on to a halfway house for several months, where he will complete his treatment.

Barry and his Bee Gee brothers, Maurice and Robin, have always been fiercely anti-drugs. They have banded together to support Stephen and help him face up to his addiction so he does not end up like his uncle Andy.

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