John Paul Getty III dies after tragic life: son

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John Paul Getty III, whose life was marred by tragedy brought by the Getty family's vast wealth, has died in Britain aged 54, a statement from his son said Tuesday.

"Balthazar Getty today confirmed the passing of his father John Paul Getty III this past Saturday, February 5th, in England," the son's spokesman said in a statement issued in Los Angeles, where Balthazar Getty is an actor.

As a teenager, John Paul Getty III was kidnapped for five months in Italy by a gang who cut off one of his ears, while his family argued whether to pay the ransom. He later suffered a drug-induced stroke that left him paralysed.

Getty, who had two children and six grandchildren, was surrounded by his family when he died, according to his son.

He "never let his handicap keep him from living life to the fullest and he was an inspiration to all of us, showing us how to stand up to all adversity", Balthazar Getty said, adding: "We will miss him terribly."

© 2011 AFP

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