“We can confirm that very tragically Melanie has passed away suddenly,” the family’s lawyer, John Reid, said in a statement on Friday.”We would simply ask that the family’s privacy be respected at this very sad time.”
London’s Metropolitan Police said in a statement to CNN that emergency services were called to a home in north London on Wednesday evening due to “reports of the sudden death of a woman, aged in her 50s.”
“The death is not being treated as suspicious by police,” the statement said, adding that the coroner will compile a report into the circumstances surrounding her death.
Panayiotou’s death came three years after Michael, 53, died suddenly in 2016 on Christmas Day.
An inquest attributed Michael’s death to “natural causes.”
Just 48 hours before her death, Panayiotou had issued a joint statement on Michael’s website.
“We will be swerving the bad and enjoying the good as much as we can this coming year,” the statement said, while also touching on the “power” of Michael’s songs.
“We know how much his lyrics can offer support when things are tough and help celebrate when times are good and life is going well… and that is just as powerful now as if he were still with us and as many of you say in your messages, it’s a gift,” it said.
“It seems important that his generosity of spirit and natural empathy have touched you in a way that would have him embarrassed, all your kind words are really good to hear and we know you have always known his true heart.”
— George Michael Official (@GeorgeMOfficial) December 23, 2019