It was bulimia, not heroin, that killed Amy Winehouse

by Barbara Bussolotti - 2015.09.22
It was bulimia, not heroin, that killed Amy Winehouse
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Amy Winehouse: a huge talent in a body as fragile as a breadstick. The music star, much loved internationally, died of a heart attack in 2011 at the age of 27. She's now back again to warm the hearts of millions of fans thanks to the film 'Amy' by Asif Kapadia.

In an unauthorised biographical documentary, he tells the behind the scenes story about the queen of rock. As well as drugs, alcohol and rock 'n' roll, he discovers how her short life hid a terrible, unconfessed secret: bulimia. Amy suffered from the illness, for which she never received treatment, well before she found fame. Her success only helped her to mask the condition with the charm of her body, which was all skin and bones. This was, many people said, just the result of her lifestyle and heroin use. Actually it was a previous trauma and the need for love that drove her, after each meal, to put two fingers down her throat and vomit.

The truth is that it can't have been easy for her to deal with instant success at the age of 20. Just as it must have been convenient for those near her to take advantage. Her extreme gestures and choked words, seen today, look rather like silent but painful calls for help. She hoped to find love and comfort outside while, on the inside, her bulimia was snuffing out her soul.

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