Amy Winehouse did in fact die from accidental alcohol poisoning, a UK coroner says, following a second inquiry into her 2011 death.
The 27-year-old Grammy-winning soul singer, who battled substance abuse for years and was best known for the hit "Rehab," was found dead at her home in Camden, a popular artists' neighborhood in London, on July 23, 2011. Empty vodka bottles were scattered around her. The cause of her death was then ruled to be accidental alcohol poisoning.
A second investigation was launched after the first coroner resigned in November 2011 it was revealed that she lacked proper professional qualifications. Her parents did not attend a 45-minute inquest that revealed the findings on Tuesday, January 8, the Associated Press said.
"The toxicology analysis revealed a level of alcohol commonly associated with fatality," said second coroner, Shirley Radcliffe, according to the UK newspaper The Daily Mail. "I am satisfied on the balance of probability Amy Winehouse voluntarily consumed alcohol. It was a deliberate act which took an unexpected turn in that it led to her death."
It was also revealed that Winehouse's blood alcohol level was at five times the legal driving limit at the time of her death, with 416 milligrams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood, creating a blood alcohol level of 0.4 percent. Pathologist Michael Sheaff said Winehouse had likely suffered respiratory arrest after consuming so much alcohol, the Associated Press reported.
Andrew Morris, Winehouse's bodyguard, was the person who found her dead. He said at the inquest that on the night before her death, he could hear her "laughing, listening to music and watching TV" in her room, according to The Guardian newspaper, which added that the two also watched YouTube videos of her earlier performances together as well.
He said he last talked to her around 2 a.m. and checked on her around 10 a.m. and thought she was asleep. Several hours later, he checked on her again.
"She was in the same position as in the morning," he said, according to The Guardian. "I checked her pulse but I couldn't find one."
During the years prior to her death, Winehouse had been in and out of rehab to combat addictions to alcohol and drugs and famously made headlines in 2008 after an online video appeared to show her smoking crack cocaine.
She had planned a music comeback and in 2010, she said she had not done drugs in almost three years. Her last rehab stint at a treatment center came in May 2010 and lasted several days. She later canceled all dates of a planned European tour and her spokesperson said she wanted to focus on recovering.
In addition to crack cocaine, Winehouse battled addictions to heroin and marijuana. The Associated Press quoted her doctor as saying the singer was off drugs at the time of her death and was sober for almost two weeks prior to her death, but had relapsed three days before she passed away.
Romete said she saw Winehouse a day before her death and that she did not appear suicidal, adding: "She specifically said she did not want to die."
"She said she started drinking again because she felt bored," the doctor added. "I asked Amy if she was going to stop drinking that evening and she said she did not know."
Romete also said Winehouse, who had sparked eating disorder rumors due to her frail appearance, suffered from bulimia for months before she died and also repeatedly refused psychiatric help, fearing its effect on her creativity, according to the UK Newspaper The Independent.