Family rally round as Bee Gees star Robin Gibb battles liver cancer
21st November 2011
The 61-year-old Bee Gee has been undergoing treatment for the disease for several months, and is now being cared for by his wife Dwina.
In recent weeks the star has appeared in public looking increasingly frail.
He was taken to hospital last week following a 999 call from his £8million 12th-century home in Oxfordshire.
Gibb was well enough to promote this year’s Poppy Appeal single, a cover of the Bee Gees hit I’ve Gotta Get A Message To You, on The Alan Titchmarsh Show on ITV last month – but his gaunt appearance fuelled concerns about his health.
He had been treated for inflammation of the colon two weeks earlier. Last October he had surgery on his intestine following the same medical emergency that took the life of his twin brother Maurice eight years ago, and he cancelled a U.S. tour this April due to extreme stomach pain.
Last month the singer tried to quash rumours about his health, saying: ‘I’m feeling great, absol-utely great.’
But despite his optimism, the NHS says the outlook for those with liver cancer is poor as most cases are detected late.
A close friend told the Daily Mail: ‘We should be thinking about Robin’s incredible talent as a singer and songwriter, and the wonderful gift of music that he and his brothers gave to the world.’
Mr Gibb, who does not smoke or drink and eats healthily, told the Mail last year that he spends 20 minutes a day sweating in a ‘detoxification hut’.
He and Dwina, 58, an ordained druid priestess, are reportedly considering a visit to a Native American medicine man for a possible natural cure.
The couple famously have an ‘accepting’ marriage, which has survived Gibb fathering a daughter with their housekeeper, Claire Yang.
Having seen his first marriage collapse in the late 1970s, Gibb seemed to have found contentment with Dwina. Central to their relationship was their highly-unusual sex life, which centred around the fact that Dwina's preference was to sleep with other women, while Gibb was allowed a free rein sexually with her partners.
'He was having this relationship with Claire, which he didn't really try to hide, but when the baby was born all hell broke loose. Dwina was absolutely livid - it was pandemonium. That was taking the open relationship too far.'
Miss Yang, 35, and Snow Robin, three, now live in Oxfordshire, five miles from the converted monastery where the Gibbs and their 28-year-old son Robin-John reside. Gibb also has two adult children from his first marriage to secretary Molly Hullis.
Last night, in an interview for Sky Arts, he described the loss of Maurice, who died from complications following an operation to correct an intestinal blockage, as ‘something I haven’t accepted’. He added: ‘I just imagine he is out there somewhere and I will bump into him one day.’
Rallying round: Brave Robin, who is very clean-living, has been joined at his £8 million home by friends and family to ensure he has all he needs
Last December, he said of his surgery: ‘The gastroenterologist told me my intestine was two hours from bursting.
‘You realise that however much you don’t think about death – or think “that’s for other people” – you’re just an organism living from day to day. I’m just grateful I’m here. Losing people makes you realise you’ve got to grab life – not put things off. I don’t have too much faith in destiny, or an afterlife. This is it.’
The Bee Gees disbanded after Maurice’s death, having sold 200million records. The brothers had lost sibling Andy in 1988, aged 30. He had struggled with cocaine addiction.