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Bowie’s will: big bucks for assistant, nanny

Four weeks after his death, David Bowie’s will and last wishes become public.

In his 20-page will, filed in Manhattan’s Surrogate’s Court, David Bowie has left half of his fortune, including an apartment in SoHo, to his widow Iman, 25% to his son, Duncan Jones, 25% to his 15-year-old daughter with Iman, Alexandria Zahra Jones, who also will receive a mountain retreat in Ulster County, NY, though all that will remain in a trust. Corrine Schwab, nicknamed “Coco,” Bowie’s longtime assistant, was bequeathed $2 million, and $1 million was provided for Marion Skene, who served as Duncan’s nanny when he was a child.

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The will, prepared in 2007 in Bowie’s legal name of David R. Jones, also revealed that Bowie was cremated in New Jersey on Jan. 12, just days after his death from an 18-month battle with cancer on Jan. 4. No details were revealed about the further distribution of his estate, reported by  the New York Times to total around $100 million.

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But what many fans might find most interesting is that he has requested his ashes to be scattered in Bali, a place where he vacationed with Iggy Pop in the 1980s. “Bowie was so taken with Bali that he had an Indonesian-style refuge built on Mustique, in the Caribbean,” the Times notes, adding that he sold that property several years ago. The will includes direction to scatter his ashes in Bali “in accordance with the Buddhist rituals” there, and that if those wishes could not be met, “he wanted his ashes scattered there nevertheless.”

A little more information on Ms. Schwab: On Jan. 30, The Telegraph newspaper reported that in addition to being a friend and assistant of Bowie’s for more than 40 years, he described her “as his best friend and credited her with saving his life in the Seventies when she helped him kick drugs. There were some suggestions that she may have been his lover for a time, and she aroused jealousy for her close guard of Bowie, provoking the ire” of Angela Bowie, his first wife.

Schwab began working for him in 1973, in London, after answering an ad in the London Evening Standard asking for a “girl Friday for a busy office.” That job lasted six months, until Bowie brought her on as his personal assistant for his American tour.

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In 1976, she moved to Berlin to try and nurse him back to health and get over a cocaine addiction, bringing him orange juice every morning. “She became the most important person in my life in the Seventies,” Bowie later said, according to the Telegraph. “My whole lifestyle at that time made me quite bonkers, and I had a complete breakdown. Coco was the one person who told me what a fool I was becoming and she made me snap out of it.”