The recent death of former Sex Pistols Manager, Malcolm McLaren, aged 64, may have been caused by exposure to asbestos at ‘Sex’, his Kings Road fashion clothes store, over thirty years ago, and which may have led to contracting the aggressive form of asbestos-related cancer, mesothelioma.

McLaren’s partner, Korean-American, Young Kim, mentions that Malcolm had wanted to make the store ‘look like a bomb had hit it’ and is believed to have been exposed to asbestos when he broke open the ceiling of the shop he shared with his then partner, designer Vivienne Westwood. Kim goes on to claim that, she “ … always suspected that shop because it was the only place Malcolm ever really spent any serious length of time in, and there was a lot of construction … his mother had mentioned that she’d seen asbestos there. It was board asbestos and it was in the early Seventies so there was a lot of it left, and I don’t think anyone really did anything about it.”

Referring to an apparent show of a lack of asbestos awareness or denial, Kim, also related how angry McLaren was that British doctors had apparently ignored the signs of asbestos-inflicted lung damage for almost two years. After a routine chest scan in 2008, a doctor noticed ‘benign’ spots on the lungs, which looked like pleural plaques from asbestos exposure. By January 2009, McLaren was convinced he had lung cancer, but doctors continued to insist nothing was wrong.

Although the doctor claimed that “… he was perfectly fine, he just has these spots, they’re completely benign, …you don’t have to worry about it”, just a few months later, McLaren’s left lung had filled with fluid and he was diagnosed with mesothelioma. When Kim privately confronted the doctor, “… he just made a face and said there’s nothing you can do about this disease anyway”.

Carbon dioxide began building up because of weakening respiration and eventually McLaren passed away on Thursday 8th April. He is buried in Highgate Cemetery, North London.

A formal complaint is now being considered to be made against the private, Harley Street clinic doctor over the routine scan, although no mention has come to light regarding a possible claim for mesothelioma compensation.