Amy Winehouse consumed "a very large quantity of alcohol" before dying at her London home, a pathologist said Wednesday as she declared Winehouse's demise "death by misadventure."
The inquest, at London's St. Pancras Coroner's Office and Court, settled an earlier question of whether alcohol played a role in the 27-year-old singer's death. An autopsy immediately after she was found dead in a bed in her London flat revealed no cause of death. Toxicology tests followed.
The "Back to Black" singer had had public bouts with alcohol and drug abuse. She was frail and reportedly suffered from emphysema due to smoking cigarettes and crack cocaine.
Her family believed Winehouse was kicking her dangerous habits. At one point a British tabloid quoted family members as saying she may have died from detoxing from alcohol too abruptly.
A Daily Mail report, however, says St. Pancras coroner Suzanne Greenway found that Winehouse "had consumed sufficient alcohol at 416 mg per decilitre (of blood) and the unintended consequence of such potentially fatal levels was her sudden and unexpected death."
Following Wednesday's inquest, the family released a new statement expressing "relief" at having answers:
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. She had started drinking again that week after a period of abstinence.
It underlines how important our work with the Amy Winehouse Foundation is to us, to help as many young people and children as we can in her name.
It means a lot to us and from the overwhelming messages of support we have had since Amy died, we know she meant a great deal to people all over the world. We want to thank everyone for that and for their continuing enthusiasm for the Foundation.
Photo: The mother of British singer Amy Winehouse, Janis, second from left, leaves the inquest into her daughter's death on Wednesday. Credit: Luke MacGregor / Reuters