What Really Killed Amy Winehouse?

Alex Winehouse says it wasn't the drugs or alcohol that really killed his sister.

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Teenage Amy Winehouse at her grandmother's flat (Winehouse Foundation)

Preparing for an upcoming exhibit at London's Jewish Museum entitled Amy Winehouse: a Family Portrait, the late singer's brother, Alex Winehouse, spoke to the Observer about what he feels ended his sister's life.

Alex has had time to reflect on what triggered Amy's spiral into drink and drugs, but hasn't come to any clear conclusion other than "we took different paths". He describes himself as "a worrier" and "an anxious child". By contrast, "Amy wasn't like that. She had no limits."

Many of her problems predated her sudden rise to fame. She developed bulimia in her late teens and the eating disorder dogged her for the rest of her life. Alex remembers her at the age of 17 hanging out with a group of girls who "were all doing it. 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 did… We all knew she was doing it, but it's almost impossible [to tackle] especially if you're not talking about it. It's a real dark, dark issue.

"She suffered from bulimia very badly. That's not, like, a revelation – you knew just by looking at her… She would have died eventually, the way she was going, but what really killed her was the bulimia… Absolutely terrible."

Read more at the Observer. 

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