David Bowie’s will was filed in a Manhattan court Friday, and it mandated that his ashes be spread in Bali. The will specified that the event follow Buddhist practices, New York Daily News reported. Bowie died earlier this month at age 69, two days after his birthday and the release of his 25th and final album, Blackstar.
The information is contrary to widespread speculation that Bowie’s ashes would be scattered in the Catskill Mountains, where the iconic singer had a family home. The Daily Mail and others reported that Bowie did not want his final resting place to become a monument to mourners, and asked its location be kept secret.
Bowie left half of his $100 million fortune to his wife Iman. His two children, Duncan and Alexandra, will split the other half of the fortune equally. The Daily News noted other details in the will, including the dispersion of Bowie’s family homes in New York and elsewhere.
Duncan Jones’ former nanny, Marion Skene, received $1 million. In a 2010 Daily Mail profile of Jones, the filmmaker was quoted as saying of her, “I’ve always considered her as my mum, so I never felt I was missing out in any way.” Skene became Jones’ primary caregiver while David Bowie was battling substance addiction.
Corinne “Coco” Schwab received $2 million. She’s described in the New York Daily News report as Bowie’s “long-time personal assistant.” Bowie’s relationship with Schwab goes all the way back to the mid-1970s. She was even included in a 1976 Rolling Stone profile of Bowie, written by Cameron Crowe, as “the last holdover from David Bowie’s glitterglam phase.” Crowe noted at the time that Schwab had already been Bowie’s “secretary” for three years.
Bowie’s will was signed in 2004 after his onstage heart attack. An amendment of the will signed in 2007 gave Schwab Bowie’s shares in a company called Possum Inc., the details of which the New York Daily News did not provide. The executors of Bowie’s estate are his friends, attorneys William Zysblat and Paddy Grafton Green.
Bowie’s spiritual beliefs and practices were never a matter for public consumption, although there was a long-reported story that Bowie wanted to be a monk before he got into music. The Herald Scotland recalled this shortly after Bowie’s death, noting he’d considered joining a monastery there in the late 1960s. Ken Holmes, current director of the monastery in question, Samye Ling, told the paper there was no one left there who was present during Bowie’s time at the center, but the singer’s connections to Buddhism were known among his colleagues.
“The consensus is that he did visit Samye Ling and friends in the area on several occasions but that his main Buddhist connections happened in London and were maintained throughout his life.”
David Bowie’s family did not have a public memorial service for the singer and have provided little comment since his passing. News of his death was spread through Bowie’s social media accounts which had a brief statement confirming his passing after an 18-month battle with cancer. Duncan Jones later took to Twitter to confirm that the statement was indeed accurate.
Very sorry and sad to say it’s true. I’ll be offline for a while. Love to all. pic.twitter.com/Kh2fq3tf9m
— Duncan Jones (@ManMadeMoon) January 11, 2016
[Photo by Evan Agostini/Getty Images Entertainment]