Lee Starkey

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Lee Parkin Starkey (born 11 November 1970) is Ringo Starr's daughter with his first wife, Maureen. She was co-owner of boutique Planet Alice in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

Youth[edit]

Lee Parkin Starkey was born at Queen Charlotte's and Chelsea Hospital, London just months after the Beatles had split up, on 11 November 1970.

While Starr went to California, Maureen stayed at home caring for Lee and her older brothers, Jason and Zak, at Tittenhurst Park at Sunninghill in Berkshire. Their parents separated in 1974 and divorced in 1975, when she was almost 5 years old. Maureen got custody of the children while Starr was allowed visitation rights.

On 27 April 1981, Starr married actress Barbara Bach. Lee was one of the bridesmaids, alongside new stepsister Francesca Gregorini.

During the rest of the 1980s she continued with school, but was unable to choose a career. After leaving King Alfred’s, Hampstead at 16 with no qualifications, she worked for a time at Tower Records and enrolled briefly in drama school, but dropped out, having disliked it. She enrolled in a make-up artist's school and, though she achieved a diploma, also disliked the activity. She worked at Hard Rock Cafe, which was owned by her stepfather, Isaac Tigrett. In addition, she co-starred in an Oldsmobile car commercial with her father in 1989.

As a teenager, Lee was into the punk/goth scene and dressed in black with purple hair.

Planet Alice[edit]

In the late 1980s, with friend Christian Paris, Lee opened a clothes boutique called Planet Alice in Rodeo Drive, Hollywood, which specialised in 1960s-era clothes.

Her mother married Isaac Tigrett in 27 May 1989 and moved to Los Angeles, prompting Lee to ask her partner if they could relocate their boutique there, which they did in 1991, when Lee was 20. At the official opening of the store, situated on Melrose Avenue, Ringo Starr and Bach and the Tigretts were in attendance.

During the year, Lee moved into a house in Beverly Hills, which she shared with her brothers Jason and Zak, her mother, her stepfather, and her half-sister Augusta, but when her boutique closed within a year she returned to Britain, to the flat next to Warwick Avenue where Starr had lived in the 1970s.

Cancer battle[edit]

Lee continued as a fashion designer after the shop's closure but her career came to a hiatus within a couple of years due to events in her personal life.

In 1994 she rushed to her mother's side when Maureen was diagnosed with leukaemia. She stayed to take care of her. On 30 December 1994 she was at her mother's bedside when she died.

In August 1995 Lee collapsed and was rushed to hospital, where she was diagnosed with a brain tumour. She had previously had numbness in her leg and arm. Her father and Zak, touring together in the United States, cancelled their band tour to be by her side. She was transferred to a hospital in the United States to continue with her treatment. Within three weeks, she was undergoing a second operation at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston. She was then given radiation therapy.

Christian Paris was frequently seen accompanying her when she underwent check-ups in the years that followed. She moved into her stepfather’s house on Mulholland Drive in the San Fernando Valley, where her maternal grandmother Flo Cox and her half-sister Augusta Tigrett also lived, to recuperate. She returned to Britain in December 1995 to spend Christmas with the family.

Recent days[edit]

In 1998 Lee sang backup vocals on “La De Da” on Ringo Starr’s Vertical Man.

In 2001, the tumour returned and Starkey went back to Boston for more treatment. She lives in London and is currently a make-up artist and a fledging fashion designer. Since 2006 she has been dating Beady Eye's bass guitarist Jay Mehler, and on June 2009 they announced that they were expecting triplets.[1] The triplets are two boys, Jakamo and Smokey, and a girl, Ruby.

Lee has been seen at her brothers' concerts, fashion shows given by Stella McCartney, and other charitable events, whilst keeping a private profile.

References[edit]