Ruling that it was “death by misadventure,” the coroner stated that Winehouse, 27, was more than five times over the legal limit, according to the inquest, and two large bottles and one small bottle of vodka were found in the bedroom of her London home.
Winehouse was an “intelligent, determined young woman who, at times, was able to successful abstain from alcohol,” the coroner said while announcing the cause of death as “alcohol toxicity.”
Winehouse’s parents, Mitch and Janis, were in the court to hear the verdict. At the end, Mitch, a taxi driver and singer, embraced his daughter’s doctor, Christina Romete.
Earlier, the physician had told the court that she last saw Winehouse on the evening before her death. The singer, who had successfully battled drugs problems, had started drinking again after a period of abstinence, Dr. Romete said.
Romete said Winehouse had been “tipsy” but “calm” and coherent and “able to hold a conversation” during the visit. “She didn’t want to die, she was looking forward to the future,” the doctor added.
After learning of the cause of death, Winehouse’s family issued a statement, saying, “It is some relief to finally find out what happened to Amy. We understand there was alcohol in her system when she passed away; it is likely a build up of alcohol in her system over a number of days. The court heard that Amy was battling hard to conquer her problems with alcohol and it is a source of great pain to us that she could not win in time.”
BY SIMON PERRY AND STEPHEN M. SILVERMAN