Amy Winehouse’s demise was more down to her eating disorders than her drug and alcohol problems, brother Alex Winehouse has said. “She would have died eventually, the way she was going, but what really killed her was the bulimia.”
Speaking to The Observer Magazine, he continued: “Had she not have had an eating disorder, she would have been physically stronger.”
He added that she developed the eating disorder at age 17: “[Her friends] were all doing it. They stopped doing it, but Amy never really stopped. We all knew she was doing it but it's almost impossible [to tackle], especially if you're not talking about it.”
He cited this as the reason why the Amy Winehouse Foundation – a charity set up in the late Back to Black singer’s honour to help various causes – has given money to bulimia charity Beat. “We had to support eating disorder charities because no-one talks about it.
“The situation in this country is that about five or six years ago there were around 10 to 15 eating disorder charities out there. Now there’s only three, one of which is exclusively for young men.”
He continued: “Beat was in real need of an online forum so that there’s always someone there to talk to. I just want to try to raise awareness of bulimia. It’s a real dark, dark issue.”
Amy died in July 2011 aged 27. The official coroner’s inquest found that she died of alcohol poisoning and that her blood contained five times the legal drink-drive limit of alcohol.
Older brother Alex’s interview was done to promote a new exhibition of intimate family photos of Amy opens. The Jewish Museum in London will be showing the snaps from early July until early September.
In slightly related news, The Wanted told The Metro that they were the last band to be photographed with the late singer. The boys were present the last time Amy was at a public event – as her goddaughter was supporting The Wanted at their iTunes gig at the Roundhouse in Camden. She died only three days later.
Siva Kaneswaran told the paper: “We were the last band to have our picture taken with Amy.”
“You could tell she loved Dionne so much, it’s just so sad. She just looked like she wanted to sleep and then three days later she was gone.”
You can find out more about the Amy Winehouse Foundation and Beat on their websites: amywinehousefoundation.org and b-eat.co.uk