Heartbreak of the blonde beauty who was Thin Lizzy guitarist Gary Moore’s last loveBy Karen Rice
Last updated at 4:45 PM on 13th February 2011
Lonely: Petra Nioduschewski cuts an isolated figure at the five-star hotel in Andalusia following the death of her famous boyfriend
The mountains of Africa shimmer on the horizon across a postcard-blue Mediterranean.
The well heeled clientèle of the five-star Kempinski resort on the Costa del Sol are enjoying the luxury of dining al fresco in the second week of February.
But one guest seems utterly at odds with the picture of leisurely indolence. Petra Nioduschewski sits alone.
Her head is bowed, as she clutches a mobile phone to her ear, her face pallid and her eyes red-raw. The statuesque blonde never walks the nearby beach or uses the hotel spa or its three outdoor swimming pools.
She emerges from her room only to eat and then she always eats alone, breakfast, dinner and tea.
That Petra is disconsolate with grief is entirely understandable. What she had planned as an intimate idyll, six away-from-it-all days with her boyfriend Gary Moore went traumatically wrong when the guitar legend dropped dead within hours of their arrival last Saturday evening.
But why she should be so wretchedly alone - at the very moment when she should be the centre of attention, the object of universal sympathy and support - is another story altogether.
After all, it was Petra who shared the Belfastman's €600,000 house in Hove, a seaside suburb of Brighton, and she who shared the last, by all accounts blissful, two years of his life. It was she who found his lifeless body and struggled desperately to resuscitate him; she who coped with the grim formalities of death certificates, post-mortems and police.
Now she is alone. Her family were unable to join her; and his family, by all appearances, has shunned her.
Scroll down to watch a video of the Thin Lizzy guitarist in action in his prime
Legend: Moore, pictured here in 2009, died after a suspected heart attack
'It's so hard for her, she just wants to hug him. He was always holding her hand. She cries a lot and spends all her time in her room on the phone or computer to friends and family.
'When she's asleep she forgets what's happened, then she wakes up, and Gary's not there, it's like a punch in the stomach. But she's trying to look after herself because she doesn't want to have a break down.
'She's drinking herbal tea and believes Gary is watching over her. She remembers how Gary would always say you have to eat, so even though she has no appetite, she looks at her watch and says, "Now I have to have something to eat".
Tragic: Moore and his girlfriend had been staying at the Kempinsky Hotel in Estepona, on the Costa del Sol
Home: Moore lived in Hove, near Brighton, with his second wife and child
Then they decamped to Malaga, 75km away - taking Gary's body, his suitcase and even his guitar with them, and leaving the 35-year-old German on her own.
Her only solace comes from the sympathetic hotel staff, who have taken her on a shopping trip to El Corte Ingles, and the hotel cat, a ginger tabby called Rafael.
A hotel source said: 'We do think it's difficult that she is here alone. It's impossible to know why. But while she is so much younger than Gary, they seemed very in love.'
Effects: Gary Moore's family collected his guitar and bags from Estepona
Staff at the Kempinski, which has its own art gallery and designer clothes store, had been told in advance that a famous musician would be spending the week with them.
The couple were shown to the fourth floor, where they checked into a de luxe sea-view room costing around €250 a night. They made plans to hire a car and drive around Estepona, where Gary had a villa for several years, and to tour the Costa del Sol once they had settled in.
They were going to enjoy a romantic meal in the hotel's candlelit restaurant that night but it was closed so, instead, they had a hamburger and a sandwich at the hotel bar, which is tucked away to one side of the sprawling lobby. They shared champagne, and took a stroll along the Playa el Padron beach as the sun went down, before returning to the hotel bar.
'They were a very affectionate and close couple,' said a hotel source. 'You could see they were very much in love. Gary was famous but he was very down to earth. He signed two autographs for staff, describing a waiter as an "amigo".
The couple had a couple of brandies each and then a waiter offered them a liqueur. They left the bar around 11.30pm and I remember Gary said, "You're the best waiter in the world", and then he said, "See you tomorrow".
'They were very amorous and holding hands when they left.' But in the early hours, the 58-year-old guitarist stopped breathing, after apparently suffering a heart attack in his room. Petra desperately tried to resuscitate him before calling for help but the musician was already cold.
'At around four o'clock in the morning, she called for help and a security guard went to the room and found Gary on the bed in his underpants.
'He tried to pump his heart but he was already cold. She was in a bathrobe, completely shocked. She had tried to resuscitate him before the security guard got there. When the ambulance came, they didn't try to shock his heart because he was already gone.'
Grief: The pain shows on the face of Petra Nioduschewski
Preliminary results of the post-mortem are believed to have shown he died of natural causes. Friends have been quick to dismiss reports that his death was drink related, describing him as 'clean living'.
Old buddy Smiley Bolger said: 'He hadn't touched drugs since way, way, way back in his youth and he wasn't a heavy drinker.
'He liked a drink but that was about it. He was asthmatic and didn't smoke. If anything, he was probably a bit overweight.'
Now Petra waits alone for word of when Gary's body can be released and she can go home. His family must now sort out the legal affairs of the multimillionaire whose fortune will no doubt be divided between his first wife, with whom he had two sons, Jack and Gus, and whose marriage ended in 1993, and his second wife and their teenage daughter, Lily. Moore was careful with his money, even parsimonious.
Despite having an estimated €23million income from his two London-based companies, Moore was only giving himself a yearly wage of €44,000 at the time of his death - €15,800 from Bonuswise and €28,200 from Orionstar, from a combined annual turnover of €1.76million.
His guitar collection, including his cherished Les Pauls, was valued at around €235,000.
Then there was the Hove house he shared with Petra, believed to have been bought last November for €600,000.
His fortune is the result of his immense talent and a career that spanned blues, hard rock and ballads, bringing him chart success and the admiration of his musical peers. Over a long solo career, Moore released 20 solo studio albums and had a string of top-40 hits as a solo artist, including Parisienne Walkways in 1979 and Out In The Fields, with Phil Lynott, in 1985.
Despite his fame, he shunned the limelight and was described as a quiet neighbour by locals in Brighton. He was known for helping young bands to get a label and often played in local pubs and for charity for free.
He continued to perform in recent years, toured Ukraine last year and even played for Vladimir Putin's birthday in the Kremlin. Bryan Adams described Moore as a 'guitarist extraordinaire' while Bob Geldof said: 'Without question, one of the great Irish bluesmen.'
But Petra's future now looks uncertain, even precarious. And the greatest tragedy of all is that, as the Mail can now exclusively reveal, Moore may have been about to secure that future. Friends say he proposed to Petra hours before his death, toasting the union with champagne.
'They had just arrived in the hotel and that evening, Gary told Petra he was thrilled to be with her and that he wanted to marry her. She didn't have to think about it because she wanted to marry him although she wasn't expecting the proposal.
Of course, there would have been formalities to go through but she knew she wanted to spend the rest of her life with Gary.
'They said some really nice things to each other that night. He said he would propose to her properly later on because he didn't have a ring and that he would go down on bended knee. She said it was so cute and he was so nice.
'Gary said that once he'd proposed properly, she'd have to dance the first dance with him at their wedding. He said that because he knew Petra hates dancing but, of course, she agreed. Then they opened a bottle of champagne to celebrate and when they raised their glasses, he said, "Cheers to us".
'But it wasn't to be. Petra is so lost. She said what's happened is like something out of a movie except it is real.
'She keeps asking why and saying that he was the love of her life. She's in a bad state.
‘It will be really hard for Petra to go home to the house and he won't be there. She'll be home alone, that's when it will really hit her.'
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-1356537/Gary-Moores-blonde-beauty-Petra-Nioduschewski-Thin-Lizzy-guitarists-love.html#ixzz1DxufXHjy