After returning to England from a business trip to the United States Paul was working like crazy on new business ideas, wrapping up the latest issue of his magazine-The Governor- and had just received his first shipment of his latest book-Anabolic Edge 2001. He was very excited about new opportunities in America and was planning on distributing The Governor and bringing his Biohazard supplement line to the U.S. The future was looking very bright for Paul and he was doing everything he could to make things happen as quickly as possible. On January 30, 2001 he passed away while working at home late into the evening. Paul is survived by his wife Carole and children Kayne and Sophie. The following is an interview with Carole.
AI: Has the official cause of Paul's death been determined?
Carole: I just want to put the record straight. Even after his death, people can't stop creating rumors about him. But I guess he would take that as a compliment. One of his favorite quotes was "Wherever there is forward movement, there is bound to be turbulence." The coroner, after studying the post postmortem and through lots of toxicology tests, has determined death by misadventure [accidental]. Paul was prescribed very strong morphine based painkillers, which no longer eased the constant pain from his back injury. The cage, which supported his spine, was always uncomfortable. On bad days he wasn't very mobile at all, I'd have to help him wash and dress. The last few days before his death, he could hardly walk. Anyway, on that night he didn't take into account how many pills he had taken during the day and basically overdosed, fell into a coma, and his heart failed.
AI: There were rumors of death threats being made on Paul's life, was that true?
Carole: The death threats were very real. We had to move from our last home because two men broke in-armed with shotguns and wearing hoods-looking for Paul. I was alone in the house with our two young
children-who were hysterical-and I was absolutely terrified. They went from room to room shouting and waving their guns about. When they discovered Paul wasn't there they sprayed me with something that temporarily blinded me and stung my skin.
I eventually managed to call the Police and ambulance. We moved to a new house, had alarms, night-lights and
shutters installed on the doors and windows. Everything was quiet for some time and then the police contacted us. They said there was a contract out on Paul's life. More alarms were installed. Our phones were monitored. Police patrol cars went past the house every hour and we actually had police cars parked in the driveway as a deterrent. One night the alarm went off by accident and within minutes armed police had surrounded the house. A helicopter flew overhead and we had to take the children and stand outside in the darkness while sniffer dogs searched the entire house and grounds. The police were fantastic and did an excellent job but that doesn't change the fact that your life was no longer your own. We had to constantly change our routines; Paul wasn't allowed to leave the house without an escort. I couldn't walk the dog on my own and the children's school was told under no circumstances should they release either Kayne or Sophie to anyone other than us. WE were basically prisoners in our own home. It was very frightening; in fact for the first ten days the Police had totally secured the house, we had to stay in hotels and a safe house.
Carole: Naturally, he took the threats seriously. He was very concerned for my safety and that of the children. He had a martial arts person coach him and we rehearsed various procedures regularly for practically any attack. Whenever he did seminars in this country he would always have professional bodyguards there to protect us. It may sound very dramatic but the threats were real and it put a lot of pressure on him.
AI: Did the Police investigate any of the people that made death threats?
Carole: Absolutely. They knew where the threats were coming from.
AI: Paul had a big following in the U.S., what was his popularity in the U.K. and Europe like?
Carole: Paul was finally beginning to get the recognition over here that he deserved. He coached more and more athletes, not just bodybuilders but rugby players, cyclists, and runners
the list goes on. People realized that the man did achieve results and knew what he was talking about. He'd also done seminars in Sweden and was arranging to go to Germany to talk.
AI: What inspired Paul to start training?
Carole: He always maintained he started training to meet me. I was the first person he coached; with his help I won the
N.A.B.B.A. British Building Championships twice. British Power lifting Champion 48kg and 52kg class and the Natural British Bodybuilding Championships all in the same year.
AI: What motivated Paul to use steroids?
Carole: Basically, his long-term goal was to compete in the Masters Universe and he firmly believed you couldn't compete at a professional level without using steroids.
AI: What did Paul get out of training and coaching others?
Carole: Paul loved to train. It was his escape from the everyday pressure and strain our lives were under. And ever since I first met him he wanted to be in the 300
lb+club. He enjoyed coaching others because he got a kick out of helping people and seeing them improve. Some of the transformations were incredible. He wanted to kill ignorance and provide information to anyone who wanted to learn.
AI: How long had he been coaching others?
Carole: For about 15 years. He completed coaching courses with two recognized affiliations over here.
AI: How many people had he personally coached?
Carole: I have lost count-naturals to professionals-hundreds.
AI: There have been "rumors" posted on the Internet that Paul had contemplated suicide at one point in his life and jumped out of a 2-3-story window. Any truth to that?
Carole: Yes. That is true. I don't think Paul made any secret about that. About four years ago, when he was still running Chemical Warfare in Manchester, he became increasingly depressed-feeling that he was no longer in control of his own company. Others were trying to take over. He turned to recreational drugs as a means of escape. We were going through a bad patch because I didn't understand the significance of what was happening with the company and the fact that his life was no longer his own. So, we separated for a short time. During this time he met someone else. I found out. I was told by a third party that "I would never forgive him and would never have him back"-and so he tried to take his own life and consequently broke his back. In reality, I had said no such thing. Despite all the odds we did get back together and have remained inseparable ever since.
AI: Did Paul train Dorian Yates?
Carole: At one point, Paul was very friendly with Dorian and visited him at his house. He certainly answered various questions Dorian had; I can't confirm he actually trained him as such.
AI: What was Paul's relationship with Dorian like?
Carole: As I said, they were friends. Dorian enjoyed his company.
AI: What caused the falling out between Paul and Dorian?
Carole: Basically, how shall I put it? We had to leave Manchester and our company. And Dorian was quick to step in and assist Mr. Keyes to run the company, which Paul had created.
Carole: Paul and I set up Chemical Warfare from our home. He originally wrote the book of the same name and then people started to say to him, "It's all very well recommending supplements, but what we need are excellent supplements at affordable prices." So, the Bennett Group (my maiden name), trading as Chemical Warfare, was formed. We used to ship orders out from our living room until the company became successful enough to warrant additional staff and a unit [office/warehouse space].
AI: What was Paul's relationship to Chemical Warfare?
AI: What caused the relationship with Chemical Warfare to terminate?
Carole: Paul was very much a free spirit. He wanted to make his own decisions particularly about sales and marketing and he found this became increasingly more difficult to do. He was no longer able to run the company how he wanted and because of the nature of the person we were in partnership with, we chose to just walk away from a thriving business.
AI: What are your feelings on the steroid use Paul was involved in?
Carole: Paul would spend a lot of time planning his courses, contrary to what many would like to believe. He preferred to combine a lot of different substances in small amounts rather than use massive doses. He was often amazed at the amounts of steroids bodybuilders who came to him were taking.
AI: Did Paul experiment with the steroids he recommended to those he coached?
Carole: Yes. He was always reading about the latest steroids to be released. He would certainly never recommend anything to anyone unless he had used it himself. He was very disturbed by the number of counterfeits around and the substances these look-a likes actually contained. Many were extremely dangerous. He was currently trying to find a legal and natural alternative to DNP and
AI: We know that steroids lower the body's immune system and can lead to complications in other illnesses. Do you think this was true in Paul's case?
Carole: Paul made a remarkable recovery from his back injury. At the time of his death he was healthy, as fit as could be expected, and in good shape. He put all this down to his steroid program. So?no, that is not true in Paul's case. He was stressed out, working long hours and his workload was far too excessive-it was always controlled chaos in the house. Paul was always striving to meet deadlines. The phones never stopped ringing. He would take in excess of 80 calls a day and still finish his work and see visitors. You would have to live it to appreciate it! Something had to give and he just pushed too hard.
AI: Did steroids have anything to do with Paul's death?
Carole: Absolutely not. In fact, he was just about to start a course to gain more weight for the Arnold Classic. He was determined to look his best.
AI: Could Paul's death have been prevented or avoided?
Carole: This is a very difficult question. I constantly blame myself for not calling the ambulance sooner. The doctor has told me there was nothing anyone could have done. Perhaps the situation could have been avoided if Paul hadn't been under so much pressure. It's easy to speculate in hindsight.
AI: Was Paul pretty laid back all the time or was that more of a part time thing?
Carole: I wouldn't say Paul was laid back; he may well have wanted people to think of him in that way. But he never stopped, couldn't relax. There was always so much going on in his head. There were problems to be sorted, new ideas, books to be written and magazines to be completed. When he did find time to relax, it would normally be with Kayne and they would escape in a fantasy world on the PlayStation-even then the phone would ring and someone would want to speak to him. On Saturdays, he wouldn't speak to anyone. This upset some individuals who couldn't understand why he wouldn't speak to them on his day off!
AI: There have been "rumors" of Paul being a violent man or getting aggressive. Is this true?
Carole: Paul was the least violent man I ever met. He hated violence of any kind. He often said that if you had to resort to violence then you had already lost. Unfortunately though, within the circles Paul moved in, it was the way things were resolved. We weren't dealing with "business men" in the majority of cases. So Paul imitated these people to make them feel more comfortable with him. Paul hated people who picked on others weaker than themselves, i.e. bullies. He couldn't bear any kind of cruelty either to humans or animals. That would really make him see red. I remember one Sunday afternoon; we took the children to the local park. There were two teenage boys who had nothing better to do than throw stones at a pair of swans. I know swans can be aggressive themselves but they were getting badly injured trying to defend their nest. Well, before I could say a word the two lads were sitting in the lake, fair game to those swans! I remember also when we were in town shopping one Saturday afternoon, a man walked straight through Kayne and sent him flying. He looked down and tutted [expressed his disapproval]-that was the last sound he made for quite some time. Before I even had time to say, "Hey, just calm down," the man was flat out on the ground. In these ways you could say he was aggressive. This type of behavior he would not tolerate.
AI: Did steroids cause Paul to be more aggressive?
Carole: No. They did not.
AI: Was Paul subject to mood swings?
Carole: When Paul was under pressure he did tend to get a bit down, he would get frustrated with people when they couldn't do the job they were employed to do. He was expected to do everything and even Paul had his limitations to what could be achieved in one day. I won't say mood swings as such?things would get on top of him and then he would speak to a friend and he would cheer up and carry on with his day.
AI: What was Paul's mood like in the days before his death?
Carole: During the days leading up to his death he was very excited. He could finally see some light at the end of the tunnel. His book was finished and finally printed. He was looking forward to going to the states again, and all the new projects he had going on over there. He had finally met some people that he could work with, ones who didn't just want to take. They had talents of their own. He was hardly sleeping working like a maniac, but thoroughly enjoying himself.
AI: What do you think about other rumors that have been made that Paul is still alive?
Carole: I wish with all my heart that they were true. All I can say is, there are some very sad people out there! Get a life! Guess they have just run out of bad things to say about him, because after all-it's all been said before.
AI: I understand Paul was a real "family man." How are the other members of the family taking his death?
Carole: Paul loved his family. All he wanted to do with his spare time was spend time with them. He spoiled them rotten. Sophie was a real Daddy's girl and she has taken it quite badly. I have tried to explain to her as best I can what's happened. But it's very difficult. His dog waits by the door each night. What else can I say? We all really miss him.
AI: What's in the future for Biohazard and the Governor Mag?
Carole: Paul finished Governor 5 just before his death. I will certainly ensure it goes to print. He had literally hundreds of unprinted articles, so it is likely it will continue in one format or another. With the exception of one individual (who will remain nameless), Paul had finally gotten an excellent and talented group of people around him. They have been a great help to me personally since Paul's death. They are keen to carry on with Biohazard. There is such incredible interest.
It literally was taking off in a big way, particularly abroad. That was another reason Paul was so excited. But, we'll have to see.
AI: Paul has truly made his place in the supplement and steroid industry and has sometimes been referred to as a hero of sorts for the way he voiced his opinion about such taboo subjects like steroids. Who were some of Paul's hero's, or people he really respected and looked up to and why?
Carole: The person Paul looked up to within this industry has to be Arnold himself. I think everyone will agree this man made it big!! He respected men who against all odds made something of themselves-who weren't afraid to speak out against the crowd-people who made their mark.
AI: What do you think Paul would want people to know about him that they may not already know?
Carole: This is a difficult one. I think most of Paul's life has been broadcast one way or another. He did always try to do the right thing. It was important to him to live within a certain code of conduct he laid down for himself and he would not waiver from those standards. He wasn't interested in money. That did not motivate him (much to my frustration). He got a kick out of passing on information to people so they could in turn better themselves. He was a soft touch. He would give away supplements to people if they genuinely couldn't afford them. He often took on other people's troubles.
AI: What message do you think Paul would like to have left with people when they've finished reading this?
Carole: "Our satisfactions in life will be proportional to our contributions."
AI: How do you think Paul would like to be remembered?
Carole: Paul was finally getting the recognition he deserved. He liked the respect people showed him, especially in the states. I'm sure he would like to be remembered as the one who provided information to ensure athletes didn't damage themselves through ignorance. As he said, "Ignorance kills, let's kill ignorance!" If he saved one life, he did better than a lot of us.
AI: Is there anything you'd like to tell people about Paul or add to this?
Carole: I haven't really got anything to add. It's two days to Paul's funeral and I have to summon up all the strength I have left to get through this.
Carole, we would like to give our heartfelt sympathy to you and your children. Thank you for giving us your time at this critical point in your life to let the readers know more about Paul and his untimely passing. Hopefully, this will answer some of the questions they have and set the record straight on the rumors.
Editor's note: Paul and his wisdom will be sorely missed by many thousands of athletes that have been learning from him over the years. Maybe we can publish some of his unpublished articles in future issues of Anabolic Insider-we'll keep you posted.
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