Nick Cave’s eldest son Jethro Lazenby died on Sunday aged 30, the musician announced, marking a tragic end to the life of a model who first met his father at the age of seven.
In his later years, Jethro developed a long criminal history, spending time in jail in 2018 for threatening to murder his then-girlfriend and again – more recently – for beating his mother Beau Lazenby in April.
Jethro, who lived in Melbourne, had been released from prison on bail two days before he died, having been jailed for kneeing Beau in the face during a row over cigarettes – leaving her ‘bruised and bleeding’.
Cave’s troubled son largely worked as a model – including for for Balenciaga and Versace – while also taking on some acting roles – including the 2007 film Corroboree and 2011’s My Little Princess – starring Isabelle Huppert. He was also reported to have started some of his own music projects in his father’s footsteps.
However, he suffered from personal problems for some years after struggling with his mental health, with his lawyer recently disclosing that he suffered from schizophrenia.
Nick Cave’s eldest son Jethro Lazenby (pictured left and right) died on Sunday aged 30, the musician announced, marking a tragic end to the life of a model who first met his father at the age of seven
Jethro was jailed earlier this year following an assault on his mother, Beau Lazenby, in Melbourne
Jethro said in the past he didn’t meet Cave until he was seven. The BBC reported that he was not aware that Cave was his father until around the same time. There is scant information about Beau Lazenby, however it is known that Jethro was born while Cave was married to his first wife – Brazilian journalist Viviane Carneiro.
Carneiro gave birth to Cave’s second son Luke just 10 after before Jethro was born on the other side of the world – to his Melbourne-based model mother in 1991. He grew up in Australia, but also spent time in London, telling the Evening Standard in 2012 that it was tough coming from abroad.
Despite his famous father, he was penniless when he arrived to London, and stayed on a friend’s couch at first.
He told the newspaper that he didn’t call on his father’s help, who was living in Brighton by then was living with his second wife Susie Bick and their twin boys Arthur and Earl.
On whether he had ever invited his father along to any events he was performing at at the time, Jethro said ‘I try to segregate myself from that as much as I can,’ and described their relationship as ‘strained’.
Despite this, he often used his father’s surname to drive his own modelling career, but later reverted back to using his mother’s surname Lazenby. On using his father’s name, he once told his followers: ‘Tbh [to be honest] it’s not as profitable as one would think,’ according to The Metro.
In 2008, Cave hinted at the complicated relationship he had with his son, but went on to say that it had improved.
‘It was a difficult time, but it turned out great in the end,’ he said, according to Rolling Stone. ‘To my eternal regret, I didn’t make much contact with Jethro in the early years, but I now have a great relationship with him.’
At some point, Jethro returned to Australia, where he continued working as a model.
Nick Cave today confirmed the death of his son, Jethro Lazenby, who he is seen with in 2006. He said: ‘With much sadness, I can confirm that my son, Jethro, has passed away. We would be grateful for family privacy at this time’. Pictured: Nick Cave (brown suit) is shown in with his sons Luke (right, in black T-shirt) and Jethro (in red shirt), who were born within 10 days of each other on the other side of the world, to different mothers
Nick Cave: The singer’s tragic personal life that has seen the death of two sons
The dark, tragic edge to Nick Cave’s music has led to him being known as rock’s ‘Prince of Darkness’.
Born in Australia before moving to Britain in 1980, his music is known to have been influenced by tragedy in his early life, when at 19 his father was killed in a car crash.
Some experts have said that his dark outlook may have sprung from, and is still inspired by this tragedy more than 30 years ago.
Cave has had four children with three different women – the first being Jethro Lazenby in 1991.
Tragically, two have died – including Jethro.
Cave met and married his first wife – Brazilian journalist Viviane Carneiro – in 1990 after he moved to Sao Paulo.
She gave birth to the couple’s son Luke in 1991. They stayed together for six years before divorcing in 1996.
Just a matter of days before Luke was born, Cave’s first son Jethro Lazenby was born in Australia to mother Beau Lazenby. Jethro, who was Cave’s eldest son, was confirmed dead by his father on May 9, 2022.
‘With much sadness, I can confirm that my son, Jethro, has passed away. We would be grateful for family privacy at this time,’ Cave said in a statement.
Cave did not meet Jethro until he was around seven or eight years old, but in 2008 described their relationship as being good.
Cave briefly dated singer PJ Harvey in the mid-1990s, and after they broke up be met British model Susie Bick. The pair married in 1999.
In 2000, Bick gave birth to twin boys – Arthur and Earl – when they were living in London, and raised them in Brighton. Tragedy first struck Cave in 2015 when Arthur fell from a cliff in the English coastal city while on LSD.
Arthur’s death has had a profound impact of Cave’s work, and was explored in two of his albums – Skeleton Tree released in 2016 and Ghosteen in 2019.
Cave was also close with Australian musician Michael Hutchence, who died in 1997 aged 37. Cave is the godfather to Hutchence’s daughter Heavenly Hiraani Tiger Lily, and played at his funeral.
In 2018, he was jailed for several attacks on his then-girlfriend, and found himself in trouble with the law again recently after he attacked his own mother at her house in Melbourne. She had found her troubled son at her front door just after midnight on March 7, before he convinced her to allow him to stay the night.
The following morning the pair got into an argument where Jethro kneed his mother in the face, causing bleeding and bruising. Speaking to the court, a police prosecutor said: ‘While standing in front of the victim, the accused has then reached forward and grabbed both the victim’s shoulders with his hands.
‘He lunged forward and kneed the victim to the face and nose, causing bleeding and bruising.’
While Lazenby went to a shop to by cigarettes, his mother fled to a nearby pub and asked people there to call the police, the court heard. The 30-year-old model was arrested shortly after.
He admitted one count of unlawful assault and breaching court orders after other charges were struck out following a deal with prosecutors, the Herald Sun reported.
Jethro’s lawyer Mr Ghattas asked his sentence be time served and for him to be released from prison, but Magistrate Donna Bakos replied: ‘I’m not sure I agree with you.’
She noted his ‘considerable criminal history’, which includes a series of violent assaults on his girlfriend in 2018 which saw him spend time in jail.
The court heard Cave’s son had screamed: ‘I’m going to murder you’ three times while holding the woman down.
He was released on bail from Melbourne Remand Centre on Thursday (May 5) after Bakos ordered he undergo substance abuse treatment and avoid contact with her for two years. ‘I do say to you that it’s entirely in your best interests to participate with all support services that I’ve set-up for you,’ Ms Bakos said.
‘It’s very very important that your path to rehabilitation will be a much more positive one and therefore you will be less of a risk to the community at large and in particular to your mother.’
Jethro’s lawyer, Sean Ghattas, said he had been diagnosed with schizophrenia and that affected his judgement.
He was found dead two days later. His cause of death has not been released.
‘With much sadness, I can confirm that my son, Jethro, has passed away,’ Cave said in a statement on Monday afternoon, announcing his son’s death. ‘We would be grateful for family privacy at this time.’
The Australian singer, best known as the frontman of Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, was first struck by tragedy in July 2015 when Arthur fell 60ft to his death from a cliff in Ovingdean, near Brighton.
The Australian singer, best known as the frontman of Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, was first struck by tragedy in July 2015 when Arthur (pictured) fell 60ft to his death from a cliff in Ovingdean, near Brighton
Pictured: The area of cliffs from which Arthur Cave fell from in 2015 is seen at the time in Sussex
Arthur died after taking hallucinogenic drugs and stumbling off a cliff top near his home, plummeting 60ft to the ground. Motorists rushed to help Arthur when they saw him zigzagging across the top of a cliff in bare feet.
But they were unable to reach the confused teenager, who then fell down Ovingdean Gap onto an underpass.
He suffered catastrophic injuries and despite being rushed to the nearby Royal Sussex Hospital he later died.
A coroner recorded a verdict of accidental death at an inquest later in 2015, after which Cave said the grief was ‘unimaginable’. The family also spoke of their heartbreak after the death of their ‘beautiful, happy loving boy’.
Meanwhile, in a heartbreaking note left alongside a floral tribute at the cliffs, Earl Cave called his brother Arthur a ‘joy to be around’, adding: ‘You were the best brother I could ever ask for’.
The note read: ‘Arthur – I love you so much. You were a joy to be around. I will never forget you.’
Cave with his wife, Susie, at the UK Premiere of ‘True History Of The Kelly Gang’ at the Picturehouse Central on February 17, 2020 in London
Cave and his wife, Susie, relocated from Brighton to Los Angeles in the wake of Arthur’s death, before returning to England.
The musician, who lived with his family in palatial seafront Regency mansion in Brighton for 15 years, told GQ magazine in 2017: ‘Grief and illness and tiredness feed off each other in a kind of feeding frenzy.
‘Mostly we just find it too difficult to live here. Everyone here has just been so great, and that’s in a way half the problem. When I go out in Brighton these days, there’s a sort of feeling that we’re all in this together. And it’s just a little bit too intense for me.
‘It’s too many memories, really. We’ve really tried. But it’s just beyond us, in a way, to remain.’
Last year, the rocker was asked on fan Q&A site Red Hand Files why he had decided to move from Brighton.
In response, the star spoke of his Bad Seeds track Heart That Kills You, which he said was ‘clearly written’ while he was grieving for Arthur.
‘The words of the song go someway toward articulating why Susie [his wife] and I moved from Brighton to L.A.,’ Cave explained. ‘Brighton had just become too sad. ‘We did, however, return once we realised that, regardless of where we lived, we just took our sadness with us.
‘These days, though, we spend much of our time in London, in a tiny, secret, pink house, where we are mostly happy.’
Cave and his wife had proudly taken Arthur and Earl to several high profile events and the brothers appeared at the end of 20,000 Days on Earth, a film documenting a fictitious 24 hour period in the singer’s life.
Cave with Arthur (right) in 2012 and his other son, Earl, during a premiere of the Hobbit in London in 2012
Cave with his wife, Susie, at a London dinner to raise money for a charity campaigning against HIV. They currently live in London
Ms Bick said of her husband in a previous interview: ‘He’s just adorable. He’s just the warmest person, he’s got the biggest heart. He’s so the opposite of what people imagine. And he’s the best dad in the world.’
His music often touches on death, religion, love and violence and he was once described as ‘the grand lord of gothic lushness’.
Nick has composed scores for a number of films, including The Proposition in 2005, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (2007) and The Road (2009). He co-wrote 20,000 Days on Earth.
Mr Cave is most famous for his work with his band the Bad Seeds, formed in Melbourne in 1983. Previously he was in cult band the Birthday Party.
But his biggest hit was a duet with Kylie Minogue – Where The Wild Roses Grow. The pair are still friends and appeared together in his 20,000 Days on Earth film.
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