Geri Halliwell's Older Brother Max Dies at 54: 'A Difficult Time'

·2 min read
Max Halliwell, Geri Halliwell
Max Halliwell, Geri Halliwell

Dave M. Benett/Getty; Chris Jackson/Getty Max Halliwell and Geri Halliwell         

Geri Halliwell is mourning the sudden death of her brother. 

On Tuesday, the former Spice Girls' older brother, Max Halliwell, died in intensive care after suddenly collapsing in his home in Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire, last week, PEOPLE can confirm. Max was 54.

"As you can imagine this is a difficult time and we would ask that you respect the family's privacy at this time," Geri's rep said in a statement.

Max, a former communications manager for Mitsubishi Electric Living Environmental Systems UK, was taken to Watford General Hospital after being found at his home, according to The Sun, which first reported his death.

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"His death is being treated as non-suspicious and will be referred to the coroner," a Hertfordshire Constabulary spokeswomen told the outlet. 

Geri, 49, was in the Middle East with her husband, Formula One team principal Christian Horner, as he prepared for the Qatar Grand Prix last weekend when she learned the news of her brother's condition. 

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In 2010, Max appeared on Piers Morgan's Life Stories and looked back on their earlier years, saying his sister "doted heavily on her father."

"Maybe because of the attention that my father gave her as regards to her potential," he said. "He obviously saw something early on, so I'd call her a bit of a daddy's girl, definitely."

Their father, Lawrence, died after a heart attack in 1993.

The former pop star opened up in the BBC documentary Geri's 1990s: My Drive to Freedom about how that devastating loss, three years before "Wannabe" propelled the Spice Girls to stardom, sparked her desire to succeed.

"I was just in my own little zone, what really threw me was in the November period [when] my father died. I was almost paralyzed by grief, I didn't have the right sort of tools to process it," Geri said then. 

"I have this theory, I don't know if it's true, but I think success comes from three things," she said. "One is preparation, one is opportunity and one is need. I think my father's death gave me the need, that death energy."

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