Amy Winehouse, singer and member of The 27 Club, was killed by an eating disorder and not as a result of her infamous drug and alcohol abuse, according to her brother. In his first full-length interview, Alex Winehouse told the Observer Magazine that her lesser-known struggle with bulimia “left her weaker, and more susceptible”.
The singer, who died July 2011, turned her struggles with addiction into Grammy Award-winning songs. An inquest into her death at the time recorded a verdict of misadventure as the cause and found 416mg of alcohol per decilitre in her blood, enough to induce a coma.
In the interview, Alex Winehouse acknowledged the role that alcohol and drugs played in her death but insisted that the eating disorder took her life, saying, “She would have died eventually, the way she was going, but what really killed her was the bulimia.”
He explained that Amy had developed the disorder, in which bouts of binge eating are followed by self-induced vomiting, in her late teens. Alex Winehouse revealed that at the age of 17, she had a group of friends who would induce vomiting after every meal, saying:
“They’d put loads of rich sauces on their food, scarf it down and throw it up. 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.”
After the singer’s death, her family established a foundation in her name. The Amy Winehouse Foundation aims to prevent misuse of drugs and alcohol by young people and recently donated money to Beat, the world’s largest eating disorders charity.
“We had to support eating disorder charities because no-one talks about it,” said Alex Winehouse. “Had she not have had an eating disorder, she would have been physically stronger,” he said.
(Via The Guardian)