Today’s devastating news comes after Nick Cave lost his former partner and muse a year ago, and earlier mourned the shock death of his teenage son.
Legendary Australian musician Nick Cave has again been struck by a family tragedy, with his son Jethro dying just days after his release from prison.
Cave confirmed his son’s death in a statement today, writing: “With much sadness, I can confirm that my son, Jethro, has passed away. We would be grateful for family privacy at this time.”
No cause of death has yet been released. It has been seven years since 64-year-old Cave lost another son, Arthur, who died aged just 15 from a tragic cliff fall near the family’s home in Brighton, England.
It also comes one year after the death of his former longtime girlfriend and bandmate, Anita Lane, to whom he paid stirring tribute after she passed away last April, aged 61.
Jethro dies days after prison release
News of Cave’s son Jethro’s death at 30 comes just two days after he was released from prison in Melbourne, where he had been sent last month after being convicted of assaulting his mother, Beau Lazenby, in her Collingwood home.
A court had heard that Jethro, who suffered from schizophrenia, had kneed his mother in the face during an argument, causing bleeding and bruising.
Jethro had earlier worked as a model and actor, with supporting roles in the 2007 film check and 2011’s my little princess.
Born from a brief relationship between Cave and his model mother, Jethro did not meet his father for the first time until he was at least seven.
Teenage son’s tragic cliff fall
Cave’s 15-year-old son Arthur died in 2015 after a tragic cliff fall near the family’s home in seaside Brighton, England.
Arthur has a twin, Earl, and the pair are sons to Cave and current wife Susie Bick, who he wed in 1999.
A teenage friend told The Mirror at the time that she was in shock over Arthur’s death.
Kimya Hajisaeagh, 15.
“I think he was with his brother and a friend at some point that day but I don’t know whether he was with him at the time he fell,” said Kimya Hajisaeagh, then 15.
“He wouldn’t normally hang around here but one of our friends lives near the hillside and he may have been going to visit him… it’s just the worst thing ever.”
Cave later examined his grief over the loss of his son in a candid documentary called One More Time With Feelingfilmed just month’s after Arthur’s death.
“It seemed to me that he was trapped somewhere and just needed to do something — anything — to at least give the impression of forward movement,” the director said of Cave’s decision to lay his grieving process bare for the world to see.
Cave later revealed that the family even moved away from Brighton to try and escape the pain of Arthur’s death.
“Brighton had just become too sad. We did, however, return once we realized that, regardless of where we lived, we just took our sadness with us,” he said.
Nick loses “best friend” Anita Lane
Lane, a former girlfriend of Cave’s and member of his bands The Bad Seeds and The Birthday Party, died in April 2021 aged 61. The pair had dated from the late 70s to the mid-80s.
Writing on his website The Red Hand Files, Cave penned a lengthy tribute to Lane after many requests from fans to share his thoughts.
“You think you know grief, you think you’ve worked out its mechanics, you think you’ve become grief-savvy – stronger, wiser, more resilient – you think that there is nothing more that can hurt you in this world, and then Anita dies,” he wrote.
He called her “the brains behind The Birthday Party,” writing that “she was the smartest and most talented of all of us, by far.”
“How could something so luminous carry so much darkness? Drank gin out of a baby’s bottle. Despised the concept of the muse but it was everybody’s. Spoke in a child’s voice and was my best friend. Two months ago, speaking to her on her phone she seemed a million miles away.
Loved her children more than anything. They were her pride and joy. It was both easy and terrifying to love her. Leaves a big, crying space.”
Cave’s family mourns
Nick Cave has two other sons: Luke Cave, who was born 10 days after his half-brother Jethro to Cave’s then-wife, Brazilian journalist Viviane Carneiro. Luke was born in Brazil before moving to the UK, where he now works as the frontman for alternative band Cavey.
And Arthur’s twin brother Earl is now 21, with a burgeoning acting career in films like The End of the F***ing World, Days of the Bagnold Summer and True History of the Kelly Gang.
After relationships with Lane, Carneiro and fellow musician PJ Harvey, Nick Cave settled down with model Susie Bick in 1997 and the couple wed two years later.
In a 2017 interview about her fashion label – aptly titled The Vampire’s Wife – Bick said that her creativity had been a way for her to deal with her grief.
“I’ve always wanted to make beautiful things, but at the same time it’s about not wanting to be a victim of what happened to Arthur, not wanting to be paralyzed for the rest of my life. And of course wanting to show Earl the best way I can survive this. We had to keep it together for him and not let him feel scared he was losing his parents,” she said.