Since August, Amy Winehouse‘s family has maintained that their daughter died of alcohol withdrawal, which lends her death something of a saintly air: The singer, long besieged by problems with addiction, left this world fighting those damaging habits.
Except, today an inquest ruled that Winehouse actually died of alcohol poisoning, her blood alcohol levels having clocked in at more than five times the legal limit for driving. The court is calling this “death by misadventure.”
It’s unfortunate news for her family, who were already heartbroken by her early death at the age of 27; now it adds another embarrassing hue to the story. And suddenly there are details piling in that weren’t released in the last few months. Winehouse’s doctor Christina Romete says that she saw the singer the night before she died, at about 7 p.m.—and Winehouse was tipsy. When Romete asked her when she would stop drinking, Winehouse said she would call her over the weekend.
Then there was the singer’s guard Andrew Morris, who only noticed something was wrong when she didn’t wake up at 3 p.m. the next day. He noted that she had started drinking the prior week, although he specified that she didn’t “drink to get drunk.” (Although isn’t that the case for someone who’s failed rehab, that every drink is damaging?)
It’s all pretty damning evidence, but apparently it’s news to Winehouse’s family. Rather than release a statement directly, they spoke through representative Chris Goodman. Maybe it’s just us, but this statement comes across as a bit passive-aggressive and defensive.
It is [with] some relief we finally found out what happened to Amy. We understand there was alcohol in her system when she passed away. It is likely a buildup of alcohol in her system over a number of days. The court heard that Amy was battling hard to conquer her problems with alcohol and it is a source of great pain that she could not win in time. She had started drinking again that week after a period of abstinence.
It seems as if they’re eager to clarify that as far as they knew, she was recovering. However, her father Mitch – who’s already given away his daughter’s clothing to fans — has plans to write a memoir. Amy: My Daughter is meant to act as a salve for both father and fans; Mitch said earlier this month, “I feel that I need to write this book to tell the true story of Amy and to help with my personal recovery.”
We’re curious to see if the memoir gives us any indication of how much the family actually knew about Winehouse’s last week.