Former rabbi with ‘seven wives’ and ’19 kids’ dies after collapsing in home

A polyamorous rabbi with seven "wives" and "at least" 19 children died after collapsing in the bathroom, an inquest was told.

Philip Sharp, 60, who starred in TV documentaries about his lifestyle, was discovered by a relative in Kenya.

He is believed to have written a note the day before he died, HertsLive reports.

The note included some rough detail on what he would leave behind for his family, adding "it’s not much", before ending with, "love you all".

Philip was born in Stanmore, north London, but his work as a missionary took him across the world.

He was the subject of documentaries including Channel 5's The Girl With Seven Mums in 2015.

The show featured his daughter, who was then 10-years-old, showing what it was like to grow up with multiple motherly figures.

In 2006 he appeared in a BBC documentary called "Philip and His Seven Wives".

It documented his life where he said he was told by God he was to become a Hebrew King and like a good patriarch, take multiple wives.

In 2018, he appeared on ITV's This Morning where he was quizzed by presenters Eamonn Holmes and Ruth Langsford and forced to defend his lifestyle.

It is understood he had "seven wives" and at least "19 children", and he once claimed God spoke to him to reveal polygamy was part of a divine plan.

At the time of his death in October 2019, he had been living in Nairobi, Kenya for more than two years, an inquest heard on Wednesday.

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The Old Court House in Hatfield, Hertfordshire was told he went to the toilet at home.

After failing to emerge "some time later", a relative went to check on him.

The family member could hear him moaning and kicked down the door to find he had collapsed, the inquest heard.

He was taken to hospital in Kenya where he was pronounced dead on October 28 2019.

Senior Coroner Geoffrey Sullivan had limited information around the full circumstances of his death but had obtained a signed death certificate.

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The medical cause of death was given as respiratory failure with suspected organophosphate poisoning, although the coroner said the evidence he had was limited.

He added: "What I don't have is any detail really leading directly to the events of that day, the events leading up to him going to the lavatory when he was found."

He also didn’t have "a precise cause of death", information about prior existing medical conditions and anything about where and when the note was found.

Although such details would typically be examined during a police investigation, he had no details surrounding that from officers in Kenya.

Due to the presence of the note, the coroner considered the possibility of suicide.

Although he said there "is some evidence to support that", there wasn't "sufficient evidence" to uphold the legal standard.

For that reason, the coroner recorded an open conclusion.

The inquest heard the coroner's office had tried to get more information from the Kenyan authorities, but it was not forthcoming.

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