London: Robin Gibb, who was desperately addicted to the amphetamine methedrine in the 1980’s, convinced himself that his estranged wife Molly Hullis was involved in a convoluted plot to fleece him of 5 million pounds in an altered frame of mind, it has been revealed.
The ‘Bee Gees’ star barely slept or ate, preferring to dose himself up on ‘speed’ so he could stay up all night writing hits. The little rest he had been from a cosh of potent ‘downers’ to put him into a sleep-like state.
In search of evidence, Gibb turned burglar at Hullis’ Weybridge home along with a private detective he had hired as an accomplice and getaway driver while she was away in New York, the Daily Mail reported.
Even after more than 30 years, his and Molly’s divorce remains one of the bloodiest and dirtiest in the inglorious annals of show business break-ups.
It is a tale of jealousy, deceit, money and dark sexual mores of a star known globally for his high-trousered, high-voiced, wholesome Bee Gees’ image.
By the time the legal battle was over, Robin was a broken man. The extent of the acrimony was revealed when files were released last week in the U.S. by the FBI, under Freedom of Information laws.
They revealed that Gibb was investigated by the U.S. authorities following allegations that he made numerous death threats to his wife’s London-based lawyers at the height of the wrangling.
In a telegram to solicitors Haymon and Walters in March 1981, he even claimed he had hired a hitman.
“I warned and warned you,” the Daily Mail quoted him as writing.
“The situation is now very serious.
“Know (sic) one walks all over me? I have had enough. I have taken out a contract. It is now a question of time,” he cabled/
Whether Gibb seriously thought of having his wife or her lawyers assassinated, we will probably never know. But he was unhinged enough at the time to consider it.
The threatening missives were sent from Gibb’s ocean-front home in Miami Beach, and the case was dropped when the legal firm and Molly decided not to press charges.
At the time of the break-in, which bizarrely Robin himself later reported to Scotland Yard, he should have been riding the crest of a wave.
The Bee Gees had had a massive comeback with the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack, which sold more than 40 million records for Robin, his twin Maurice and elder brother Barry.
Robin was also about to have one of the biggest hits of his career with ‘Woman In Love’, the song he and Barry penned for Barbra Streisand.
However, success and the vast fortune that came with it meant Robin had barely seen Molly in the three years before their split.
They met when Robin was just 17 and Molly 20. She was a typist at NEMS, the management company run by the mercurial Australian Robert Stigwood and The Beatles’ manager Brian Epstein.
In late 1967, within weeks of falling for each other, Robin and Molly were on a train that crashed at Hither Green, south-east London, killing 49 people. Robin pulled Molly out of their derailed carriage through a smashed window.
They married a few weeks later, but when Robin became successful, they lived on opposite sides of the Atlantic. While he was a tax exile in Florida with his brothers and mother Barbara, Molly refused to uproot their children, Spencer and Melissa, from their home in Surrey.
The couple had to make do with snatched weekends in Paris or working holidays on Stigwood’s yacht in the Greek Islands.
They became more and more estranged — not helped in the least by Gibb’s relentless womanising. The relationship imploded in May 1980, when Molly tracked him down to a New York hotel room and told him it was over.
In his drugged-up state, Gibb, then in his early 30s, became convinced that Molly had been having an affair behind his back.
Moreover, he’d become obsessed with the idea that she and one of her lawyers, a New York-based showbiz attorney, were conspiring to pull off a complicated — and highly improbable — sting.
Gibb believed they planned to trick him into going public with his suspicions about Molly’s supposed affair with an unnamed man.
The two would then sue him for libel, he imagined, and win a 5-million-pound payout. He was so consumed with the idea he was to be used as a patsy, he ‘masterminded’ the plan to break into Molly’s home and steal papers he told himself would contain evidence of the scheme.
He handed a cache of stolen documents to the British police and FBI. Then he hastily arranged a Press call on a Concorde flight to Miami, in which he went public with his suspicions.
Molly furiously denied the claims and police — powerless to act over the burglary because it was still technically the marital home — found the so-called ‘bombshell evidence’ contained no proof of his allegations that he was being set up.