DURST CRITICISED

An inquest into Jessica Michalik's death also strongly criticises Limp Bizkit's conduct at the Big Day Out festival in Australia...

FRED DURST has been criticised in an Australian court after failing to turn up at the inquest into a fan’s death at a LIMP BIZKIT show in Australia.

The fan, 16-year-old Jessica Michalik, died following Limp Bizkit‘s Big Day Out concert in Sydney on January 26 2001 when the crowd surged. A video was played yesterday (November 19) on the opening day of the inquest into her death showing Durst telling a reporter for entertainment programme ‘Access Hollywood’ that he visited the girl in hospital following the tragic accident. “A few days later she died,” he said, “she never came to.” He added that he kept in touch with Jessica’s parents, who were “really happy that their daughter was with her friends seeing her favourite band”. The Sydney Daily Telegraph reports that the officer in charge of the investigation into the accident, Detective Inspector Gregory Bamford, said to his knowledge Durst made no such trip to Jessica’s bedside.

Limp Bizkit were also singled out for criticism by Big Day Out security contractor Peter Rozen, who felt the band’s response as the tragedy unfolded did not help security guards in their efforts to aid the injured.

“The security officer that entered the moshpit did so under volatile conditions and while being publicly mocked and most unfairly criticised by the band in a manner that… frustrated their efforts to save lives,” he said. “The security officers, in all likelihood, saved the lives of several patrons and prevented a tragedy of greater proportions.”

During the hearing Inspector Bamford also said Jessica’s death was “a tragic accident”, and added his investigation had failed to identify any criminal negligence on the part of any person involved.

Outside the Sydney court, Jessica’s father George Michalik echoed the point saying his daughter’s death was “really, truly a tragic accident”.

The inquiry, before coroner Jacqueline Milledge, continues today.