Saturday, July 23, 2011

Amy Winehouse: The Truth Behind Her Descent

Talented, yes.
But Amy Winehouse was a very troubled person.
And much of the trouble was played out in public. It was not a pretty sight.

Winehouse's battles with substance abuse were the subject of much media attention.

In various interviews, she admitted to having problems with self-harm, depression and eating disorders.

In 2005, she went through a period of drinking, heavy drug use, violent mood swings and weight loss. People who saw her during the end of that year and early 2006 reported a brief rebound that coincided with the writing of Back to Black.

Her family felt that the mid-2006 death of her grandmother, who was a stabilizing influence, set her off into addiction.

In August 2007, Winehouse cancelled a number of shows in England and Europe, citing exhaustion and ill health. She was hospitalized during this period for what was reported to be an overdose of heroin, ecstasy, cocaine, ketamine and alcohol. Winehouse told a magazine that the drugs were to blame for her hospitalization and that "I really thought that it was over for me then." Soon after, Winehouse's father commented that when he had made public statements regarding her problems, he was using the media because it seemed the only way to get through to her.

In December, 2007, images of the singer outside her home in the early morning hours, barefoot and wearing only a bra and jeans, appeared on the internet and in tabloid newspapers. In a statement, her spokesman blamed paparazzi harassment for the incident.

The spokesman reported that the singer was in a physician-supervised program and was channeling her difficulties by writing a lot of music. A British tabloid posted a video of a woman, alleged to be Winehouse, apparently smoking crack cocaine and speaking of having taken ecstasy and valium.

Winehouse's father moved in with her, and Island Records, her record label, announced the abandonment of plans for an American promotion campaign on her behalf.

In late January 2008, Winehouse reportedly entered a rehabilitation facility for a two-week treatment program.

In January 2008, the aforementioned video was passed on to the London police who questioned her in February. But no charges were brought. In March 2008, Winehouse's spokesman said she was "doing well" and denied a published report in a British tabloid that consideration was being given to having her return to rehab. Her record company reportedly believed that her recovery remained fragile. By late April 2008, her erratic behavior, including an allegation of assault, caused fear that her drug rehabilitation efforts had been unsuccessful. This led to efforts by Winehouse's father and manager to seek assistance in having her committed. Her disheveled appearance during and after a scheduled club night in September sparked new rumors of a relapse.

Photographers were quoted as saying she appeared to have cuts on her legs and arms.

In an interview released in June 2009 Winehouse's father said the singer was in a drug replacement program. He said she was gradually recovering but that heavy drinking was causing "slight backward steps". A documentary shot early in 2009 shows Winehouse apparently intoxicated according to a newspaper report. Pictures published by a magazine in July 2009 upon her return to the United Kingdom from her extended stay in St. Lucia appeared to show that Winehouse had gained weight and that her complexion was improved.

In an October 2010 interview Winehouse said she had been drug free for three years saying "I literally woke up one day and was like, ‘I don’t want to do this any more.’”

But problems persisted.

Winehouse entered the Priory Clinic in May of this year where she stayed for one week.

She also had her share of legal problems.
In 2007, Winehouse and her then-husband were arrested in Norway for possession of seven grams of marijuana.

In April 2008, Winehouse was cautioned after she admitted to police she slapped a man in the face, a "common assault" offence. She voluntarily turned herself in and was held overnight. Police said, at her arrival she was "in no fit state" to be interviewed.

Winehouse was arrested in May 2008 on suspicion of possessing drugs after a video of her apparently smoking crack cocaine was passed to the police in but she was released on bail a few hours later because they could not confirm, from the video, what she was smoking.

And there were many other allegations and charges in the years that followed.

In March 2009, Winehouse was arrested and charged with common assault following a claim by a woman that Winehouse hit her in the eye at a September 2008 Prince's Trust charity ball.

At the same time, she was reported to have spat at the English socialite Pippa Middleton and to have headbutted a photographer. Winehouse's spokesperson announced the singer cancelled a scheduled United States appearance in "light of current legal issues".

In December 2009, Winehouse was arrested again on charges of common assault, plus another charge of public order offense Winehouse assaulted the front-of-house manager of the Milton Keynes Theater after he asked her to move from her seat.

On 20 January 2010, she admitted common assault and disorderly behavior. She was given a two-year conditional discharge and ordered to pay court costs and compensation to the man she attacked.

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