Up, real name Arianna Foster, was lead singer with punk outfit the Slits and worked with Nina Hagen, Lee Scratch Perry and as a solo artist before passing away at the age of 48.
But Sex Pistol Lydon, who’s been with Up’s mother Nora Foster since 1978, believes Up chose not to seek proper medical assistance.
He tells Sky Arts: “Arianna didn’t need to die – and that’s a very, very tough burden on her mother to know that.
“She knew she had cancer and she deliberately ignored it, and went for lunatic left-wing crackpot theories. And that will kill you stone dead every single time. If you want to survive something as curable as breast cancer, do not go to the far-out loonies.
“Ultimately, those are decisions Arianna made herself. Some of us in the family think it was almost suicide.”
Lydon recently spoke of his own severe illness, a debilitating form of meningitis which landed him in hospital for months when he was seven years old and rendered him incapable of remembering his own parents. He said: “I thought inside it must be my fault – I must have done something wrong.”
In recent years he’s come under fire for filming a series of TV ads for Country Life Butter, but he’s insisted it was the only way to fund PiL’s new incarnation.
Now he adds: “It was not an enormous amount, and certainly not one to complement the 87per cent increase in their sales – you owe me more – but it was enough to get some debt off my back.
“But the company treated us so well and with such respect that it was a joy working with them. I’d not seen that in any record company situation. Not ever.”