Should the legacy of Lady Diana be revisited in this way?
Surely it is insensitive to subject her children and family to these further conspiiracy revelations?
Diana: Gagged! The movie, the conspiracy, and why you are not allowed to make up your own mind
A controversial documentary on the death of Diana – who would have been 50 on Friday – will be launched in Ireland next week. In Britain, it is banned and its director Keith Allen asks: What are they so afraid of?
Diana and Dodi Fayed at the Ritz, Paris, on the night they died
Near the beginning of Unlawful Killing, I show a clip of Princess Diana (who would have been 50 on Friday) speaking less than two years before her untimely death. Well aware that sections of the British establishment had begun to despise her (following her separation from Prince Charles) and wanted her to disappear from public life, she summarised her plight in two pithy phrases: “She won’t go quietly – that’s the problem.”
My film about the inquest into her death won’t go quietly either, despite the best efforts of sections of the British press to stifle it at birth. That’s not surprising, because journalists widely regarded the 2007-08 inquest as a complete waste of time and money, so it was inevitable that many of them would also dismiss my documentary, which was screened twice at the Cannes Film Festival in May.
Yet what those screenings revealed was a yawning chasm between the perceptions of the press (several of whom did not actually see the film before writing about it) and those of the audiences who did attend. Because while the former were overwhelmingly hostile, the latter were overwhelmingly favourable, and were persuaded by the evidence that I and my production team have assembled that there was something extremely fishy about what happened in the Alma tunnel in 1997 and in the Royal Courts of Justice a decade later.
For the record, both Cannes screenings were packed from start to finish, as was an earlier test screening in Los Angeles (conducted by Nielsen NRG), and audience comments taken afterwards were almost uniformly positive. In the weeks since Cannes, the film has sold to a dozen territories worldwide, with negotiations in a further 20 still in full swing.
The veteran US investigative author and lawyer Mark Lane (who first exposed the cover-up surrounding the assassination of JFK) has endorsed the central findings of my documentary. And on 6 July, it will receive its first full public screening as a highlight of the Galway Film Festival (with many more festivals also eager to show it).
So why did much of the British press report that bored audiences walked out during the screenings at Cannes, when that was demonstrably untrue (and was flatly contradicted by the enthusiastic vox pops which were recorded outside the cinema by Reuters TV)? Why did they pretend that I had tried to conceal the financial backing I had received from Mohamed al-Fayed (whose son Dodi also died in the Alma crash), when I had written lengthy articles in The Guardian and the Daily Mail during the previous week, explaining in great detail precisely how (and by whom) the film had been funded? Why did many of them claim that I had displayed a “shocking” photograph of Diana in her death throes, when no such photograph was ever included?
Why did they claim that there was nothing new in the film, when this is the first ever reconstruction and analysis of the longest inquest in British legal history? And when (to take just one of many examples) it highlights the apparent discrepancy between evidence given under oath by Sir Robert Fellowes (the Queen’s private secretary and Diana’s brother-in-law), who said he was on holiday during the period before and after Diana’s death, and entries in the newly published diaries of Alastair Campbell which suggest that he was overseeing Diana’s funeral arrangements?
And why, three years on, is most of the UK press still unwilling to accept the verdict of the inquest jury, which decided that the Alma tunnel crash was not an accident but an “unlawful killing” (the coroner having denied them the option of “murder”), and that unidentified “following vehicles” (not the paparazzi, as was incorrectly reported) had been a principal cause?
What the British press writes does not greatly matter, because over the next few months, people all around the world will have the chance to see the film, and to form their own judgements. Everywhere except Britain, that is, because as things stand, I am legally prevented from screening the film in the UK.
That’s not primarily because of fears about libel, as has been suggested by some journalists (although much of the information that we have unearthed about Prince Philip will shock many viewers), but because my film has been deemed by lawyers to be in contempt of court, since it openly questions the impartiality of a coroner who had sworn an oath of allegiance to the Queen, yet was sitting in the Royal Courts of Justice, presiding over a case that involved the monarchy.
Furthermore, it dares to look at why he repeatedly refused to call senior members of the royal family to the inquest, despite Diana having written a sworn note explicitly stating that her husband was planning an “accident” to her car (a note, incidentally, which the Metropolitan Police did not reveal to the press and public for six years, or the French police who first investigated the crash). Saying this explicitly is, it seems, against the law.
This isn’t just a whinge from a thin-skinned director, piqued by a handful of negative reviews. We are living in a time when oppressive judges routinely prevent the British press from publishing information of genuine public interest, and my film has fallen foul of that same authoritarian repression.
Whatever journalists may think about Diana’s death, surely they should always be in favour of the disclosure of information. That way, the British public can decide for itself whether Diana was simply the victim of a drunk driver (as most of the UK press insist was the case), or whether (as is my contention) the inquest was a shameless establishment cover-up, a modern-day version of the notorious Dreyfus case, in which the British press has (until now) played a shameful and obsequious supporting role.
Either way, my film – like Diana – will not go quietly.
CELEBRITY TRAGEDIES, SLEAZE , SCANDAL AND MUCH MORE… HERE AT THE CRIME THROUGH TIME COLLECTION , LITTLEDEAN JAIL
Amy Jade Winehouse (14 September 1983 – 23 July 2011)
SHE DIED TOO YOUNG
WELL WORN, BLOODSTAINED BALLET PUMPS (SHOES) FROM AMY WINEHOUSE…. HERE ON DISPLAY AT LITTLEDEAN JAIL ALONG WITH OTHER PERSONALLY SIGNED PHOTOGRAPHS PROVIDING AN INSIGHT INTO THE LIFE AND DEATH OF THIS ICONIC STAR.
BELOW IS A WELL WORN HAIR EXTENSION PIECE FROM AMY WINEHOUSE WHICH IS ALSO ON DISPLAY HERE AT THE JAIL
HERE ARE VARIOUS AUTHENTIC SIGNED PHOTOGRAPHS PREVIOUSLY ACQUIRED DIRECTLY FROM AMY WINEHOUSE WHICH ARE ALL ON DISPLAY WITHIN VARIOUS MONTAGES THAT TOUCH UPON THE LIFE, TIMES AND DEATH OF THIS SADLY TRAGIC ICONIC AND HIGHLY TALENTED SONGSTRESS .
A GREAT TRACK AND VIDEO FROM THE LATE GREAT LADY – AMY WINEHOUSE PERFORMING HER CLASSIC 2006 HIT – BACK TO BLACK
THE INFAMOUS 27 CLUB…….. FREAKY COINCIDENCE -2009 PREDICTION THAT AMY WINEHOUSE COULD WELL JOIN OTHER LEGENDARY MUSIC ICONS IN THE THE 27 CLUB (AMY WINEHOUSE DIES 23RD JULY AT THE YOUNG AGE OF 27 ) THE PROGRAMME GOES ON TO EXAMINE OTHER CELEBRITY CURSES AND DEATHS . SEE ALL VIDEO FOOTAGE BELOW FOR SOME FASCINATING INTERACTIVE MATERIAL …..” WELL WORTH WATCHING “
Amy Winehouse, 27, found dead at her London flat after suspected ‘drug overdose’
Troubled singer had a long battle with drink and drugs
London Ambulance Service found singer at 3.54pm but unable to revive her
She was ‘beyond help’ according to Sky sources
Autopsy could take place ‘within next 24 hours’
Comes after Winehouse was booed off stage after shambolic Serbian show
Amy Winehouse has been found dead at her home in London.
The Back To Black singer was found at the property by emergency services at 3.54pm, and it’s believed Winehouse’s death was due to a suspected drug overdose.
Winehouse was apparently ‘beyond help’ when paramedics arrived, according to Sky sources.
Sources have also claimed Winehouse’s death was due to a drug overdose.
Passing: Amy Winehouse has been found dead at her home this afternoon
The scene: Amy was pronounced dead yesterday afternoon after emergency services arrived at her house in north London
Tragic: Winehouse’s body is seen being removed from her home
Drama: Members of the press and local residents watch as Winehouse’s body is taken to the van
WITHIN MINUTES 20M WERE TALKING TO EACH OTHER ON TWITTER ABOUT THE SINGER’S SUDDEN DEATH
Before it was announced on mainstream media the micro-blogging site was responding to the death of the singer and ‘Amy Winehouse’ quickly became one of Twitter’s ‘trending’ topics.
Trending refers to whichever names or terms are the most talked about at that particular moment. These are defined by the site as ‘most breaking’ topics.
Unlike topics which are discussed for a length of time, such as the phone hacking scandal, trending topics see huge numbers of Twitter users debating subjects as they happen.
Shortly after the confirmation of her death, Winehouse was mentioned in nearly 10 per cent of all tweets worldwide. As there are 200million users this equates to 20million people communicating with one another about her death.
Two ambulance crews arrived at the scene within five minutes and a paramedic on a bicycle also attended, according to a spokeswoman.
‘Sadly the patient had died,’ she added.
A statement from Winehouse’s U.S. record label read: ‘We are deeply saddened at the sudden loss of such a gifted musician, artist and performer.
‘Our prayers go out to Amy’s family, friends and fans at this difficult time.’
In a statement, the Metropolitan Police said: ‘Police were called by London Ambulance Service to an address in Camden Square NW1 shortly before 16.05hrs today, Saturday 23 July, following reports of a woman found deceased.
‘On arrival officers found the body of a 27-year-old female who was pronounced dead at the scene.
‘Enquiries continue into the circumstances of the death. At this early stage it is being treated as unexplained.’
A Metropolitan Police spokesperson said in a press conference this evening that no cause of death had yet been confirmed.
He said: ‘I am aware of reports of a suspected drugs overdose, but I would like to reremphaise that no post-mortem has yet taken place and it would be inapproporaite to speculate on the cause of death.
‘The death of any person is a sad time of friends and family especially for someone known nationally and internationally like Amy Winehouse. My sympathy extends not only to her family but also to her millions of fans across the world.’
A spokesman for the late singer said: ‘Everyone involved with Amy is shocked and devastated.
‘Our thoughts are with her family and friends. The family will issue a statement when ready.’
It has also been claimed on gossip website RadarOnline.com that Winehouse’s autopsy could take place within the next 24 hours.
Last public appearance: Amy joined goddaughter Dionne Bromfield on stage during the iTunes festival on Wednesday night
Healthy: Amy was spotted out in London looking healthier earlier this month
A Scotland Yard spokesman is quoted by the website as saying: ‘The postmortem has not been scheduled yet but it is unlikely to take place before tomorrow.
‘In the case of a murder it can be done within hours but this is not the case so tomorrow or even Monday is more likely in these circumstances.’
A section of the road where the singer lived remained cordoned off tonight. Journalists, local residents and fans gathered at the police tapes, while forensic officers were seen going in and out of the building.
One neighbour, who did not want to be named, said she saw the singer’s grief-stricken boyfriend, believed to be film director Reg Traviss, on the ground outside the house.
Two women then came ‘speeding’ up in a black Mercedes and walked in and out of the house crying. They said they believed the singer was at home last night.
Winehouse’s father, Mitch, is understood to be returning to the UK from New York. He had been due to perform at the Blue Note jazz club in the city on Monday.
A message has been placed on the club’s website, reading: ‘We are very sad to report that the Mitch Winehouse performance on Monday July 25th is cancelled due to the unexpected death of his daughter, Amy Winehouse.
‘Our condolences go out to Mitch and his family.’ Mitch is now on his way back from New York.
Winehouse had been seen with her goddaughter Dionne Bromfield earlier this week as the teenager took to the stage at the iTunes festival.
She refused to join in for Mama Said, but did support the 14-year-old with a few dance moves before urging the crowd to buy Dionne’s new album Good For The Soul.
A source said: ‘Amy staggered onstage and grabbed the mic to beg the crowd to buy her protege’s new album.’
Winehouse’s appearance at the concert came after she cancelled her European tour following a disastrous performance in June when she stumbled onto the stage in Belgrade and gave an incoherent performance appearing very disorientated and removed from reality.
Unconfirmed: A Metropolitan Police spokesperson said the cause of death has yet to be confirmed
Mourning: Floral tributes are left outside Amy’s house as news breaks of her death
Heartfelt: One note from a local resident states how much the singer will be missed in her local community
Following the concert which saw fans enraged and the subsequent video that circulated to millions she cancelled the remaining dates of her European tour.
A statement released by the troubled singer’s spokesperson at the time said that the singer would be given ‘as long as it takes’ to recover.
The statement read: ‘Amy Winehouse is withdrawing from all scheduled performances.
‘Everyone involved wishes to do everything they can to help her return to her best and she will be given as long as it takes for this to happen.’
Family: Amy with her father Mitch, to whom she was incredibly close, and her mother Janis
Shambolic: Amy was booed off stage during a shambolic performance in Belgrade in June
AMY AND BLAKE: A TROUBLED ROMANCE
Amy married Blake Fielder-Civil in Miami, Florida in 2007 but they were divorced two years later in September 2009.
From the beginning there relationship was fraught with difficulty as they struggled with addictions to crack cocaine and heroin. This led to numerous break-ups and ensuing make-ups.
Three months after they divorced speculation began to mount that they would one more marry. This was supported by the announcement on Facebook where they had both changed their relationship status to married.
But they never actually went ahead with it.
Fielder-Civil’s troubles continued and in June of this year was sentenced to 32 months in prison for burglary and possession of an imitation firearm.
Police caught the 29-year-old in a car in February with an altered number plate full of recently stolen possessions.
Winehouse had been working on her long-awaited new album, the follow-up to her 2006 breakthrough multi-million selling Back To Black, for the past three years.
The singer was born Amy Jade Winehouse on 14th September 1983 in Southgate, London.
Winehouse has had a troubled life which has included various stints in rehab for drug and alcohol addiction.
The singer is thought to have been to rehab four times.
In an interview in 2008, her mother Janis said she would be unsurprised if her daughter died before her time.
She said: ‘I’ve known for a long time that my daughter has problems.
‘But seeing it on screen rammed it home. I realise my daughter could be dead within the year. We’re watching her kill herself, slowly.
‘I’ve already come to terms with her dead. I’ve steeled myself to ask her what ground she wants to be buried in, which cemetery.
‘Because the drugs will get her if she stays on this road.
‘I look at Heath Ledger and Britney. She’s on their path. It’s like watching a car crash – this person throwing all these gifts away.’
In addition, there was a website set up called When Will Amy Winehouse Die?, with visitors asked to guess the date of death with the chance of winning an iPod Touch.
In an interview last October with Harper’s Bazaar magazine, Amy was asked if she was happy.
She replied: ‘I don’t know what you mean. I’ve got a very nice boyfriend. He’s very good to me.’
And, asked if she had any unfulfilled ambitions, Amy replied: ‘Nope! If I died tomorrow, I would be a happy girl.’
As well her battles with drugs and alcohol, Winehouse also had a troubled marriage to Blake Fielder-Civil, who she divorced in summer 2009.
Fielder-Civil and Winehouse married in 2007 in Miami.
The pair’s relationship – heavily documented by the media – saw them appearing in public bloodied and bruised after fights.
It is also alleged former music video producer Fielder-Civil was the one who introduced the Back to Black star to heroin and crack cocaine.
Amy’s father Mitch previously spoke out about how his daughter stayed away from drugs prior to meeting her ex-husband.
In a previous interview last year he said: ‘He’s not entirely responsible, she’s got to take a portion of the responsibility, but it’s clear, it really kicked off when they got together.’
Most recently, Winehouse was romantically linked to film director Reg Traviss, who she dated for a few months last year.
Weight worries: Amy also caused concern with her shrinking frame, and looked gaunt back in 2008 (right)
And Mitch also gave the new man his seal of approval.
In an interview with STV’s The Hour programme, he said: ‘I’m happy she’s got a new boyfriend. I’m happy that she’s moving on with her life.’
He said Traviss was a ‘very nice, normal bloke’. The pair split in January this year but quickly rekindled their relationship.
In March, Traviss said: ‘We’ve been together nearly a year now and we’re very happy. Amy’s doing well, she’s fine. She’s healthy and happy.’
AMY WINEHOUSE – THE LATEST MEMBER OF THE ’27 CLUB’
The singer’s tragic death at the age of 27 puts her in a pantheon of famous musicians who have all died at the same age.
Amy follows now joins the notorious 27 Club, also known as Forever 27, which is a group of musicians who have all died at the age while struggling to cope with fame.
Club members: Kurt Cobain, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and Jim Morrison are among those who died at the age of 27
Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain was the most recent victim and in 1994, pumped with heroin and valium, he turned a gun on himself.
Decades earlier Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison and Brian Jones all died at 27.
Rolling Stone Jones drowned in a swimming pool in 1969; Hendrix choked to death in 1970 after mixing wine with sleeping pills and singer Janis Joplin suffered a suspected heroin overdose the same year.
Doors star Morrison died of heart failure in 1971.
Winehouse has also caused controversy with her weight over the past few years. After hitting the music industry as a curvy role model, Winehouse then shed an astonishing amount of weight, leading to her looking gaunt in 2008.
Amy had a hugely successful musical career with the release of her debut album Frank in 2003, and the record considered her breakthrough album – Back To Black in 2006.
The singer featured on the Sunday Times Rich List earlier this year with an estimated net worth of around £6million.
During her career, Winehouse won awards including five Grammy Awards, a Q Music Award for Best Album for Back To Black and a World Music Award in 2008 for World’s Best Selling Pop/Rock Female Artist.
Finding love again: Amy is believed to have been dating film director Reg Traviss at the time of her death
Success: Amy performed via video link at the Grammy Awards in 2008 after winning five awards
The tragic loss of Amy Winehouse has robbed us of a young, if fatally troubled, life cut down in its prime. It has also cheated British music of a talent, at 27, whose best years surely still lay ahead.
As a homegrown singer, she was with without question the outstanding vocalist of her generation. Without Amy, there would have been no Adele, no Duffy and no Lady Gaga. She may have been an alumni of the Brit School, but Winehouse was also a British great.
In an era of manufactured stars and precision-tooled pop puppets, she was the real deal. For all her demons – and, sadly, sometimes because of them – she cut through pop’s hyperbole. Her rawness and emotional honesty harked back to an era when the best singers were more believable. For a white girl raised in the North London suburbs, she had the sweet, sure touch of an Aretha Franklin or Etta James.
Tragic loss: Amy Winehouse was a talented and much-loved singer and performer
Her talent was obvious from the off. The first time I saw her live was at the V Festival eight years ago. Tucked away at the bottom of the bill in one of the small tents, well away from the crowds gathering for headliners the Red Hot Chili Peppers, she oozed class. Dressed in a Fifties-style frock, playing a white Fender guitar, she showed nervous glimpses of a talent that would later wow the world.
I was lucky enough to interview her twice. The first time came shortly before the release of debut album Frank in 2003. Having met her in a photographic studio in Soho around lunchtime, we relocated, at Amy’s insistence, to her favourite local Italian cafe, where we enjoyed a lengthy chat over a large, non alcoholic lunch. She struck me then as a witty, intelligent young girl on the cusp of womanhood.
Full of joy: Amy performing at the start of her career back in 2004
She was full of the joys of life and understandably excited about her future.
Confident in her own abilities, she was gleefully irreverent. Whereas other singers, media-trained to within an inch of their lives, were masters in the art of diplomacy, she happily sounded off with little regard of the consequences.
Unconcerned about how her words might look in print, she dismissed her peers.
Dido and Norah Jones, huge at the time, were among her targets. They were ridiculed for being bland. She was savage, too, in her criticisms of Madonna.
She was naive, yes, but immensely likeable. A glowing review ensued.
Later, shortly before the release of second album Back To Black, I came face to face with a different Amy. Noticeably more slight than when we’d met three years previously, she turned up late in a coffee bar close to her North London home, but still turned heads with her long, raven black hair and striking eye-liner.
But, while some of that earlier youthful, sparkle had gone, she still struck me as a woman who knew exactly what she wanted. Perhaps more aware of her own flaws, she even retracted what she had said three years earlier about her fellow female stars. ‘When I was promoting my first album I was very defensive, so I lashed out a lot,’ she said. ‘But I won’t be saying anything negative about other singers now. They’ve got their job to do. I’m just happy to be doing my own thing.’ More mature in many ways, she was ready to let her music do the talking.
And Back To Black did just that. Rooted in emotional turmoil, it will go down as one of the classic British albums. Even now, in an era where female pop rules the charts in the shape of Adele, Beyoncé, Katy Perry and Gaga, nothing has come close to packing the sheer emotional punch of Back To Black. A departure from her jazzy debut, it was stark, simple and stunningly direct.
Musical stylings: Amy caused a stir with her first album Frank in 2004, and followed it with Back To Black in 2006
Musically, it was influenced heavily by Sixties girl groups such as The Shangri-Las and The Supremes. Lyrically, most notably on signature tune Rehab, it was clearly affected by the demons that were now troubling the singer. A far more commercial prospect than her eclectic debut, it went on to sell millions.
It won Grammys and Brits and established Amy as the pre-eminent soul girl of her age.
Despite her problems, the Amy I glimpsed during our brief encounters was different from her public persona. Nobody makes records as good and enduring as Frank and Back To Black without an intimate knowledge of the essential ingredients of great pop music. And Amy certainly had that in abundance.
For me, the most recent example of the way in which her talent truly touched people from all walks of life came in a conversation a few weeks ago with the great Tony Bennett, who sung with Amy on a track, Body And Soul, from his forthcoming duets album. As a singer who has worked with the best, from Frank Sinatra to Ella Fitzgerald, he had no doubt as to where Amy stood – she was one of the best. Remember her this way.