Amy Winehouse passed away almost 10 years ago, and now, a decade later, her childhood best friend Tyler James is opening up about her tragic death for the first time.
“I was running out of ideas,” the 39-year-old told The Times of how he was struggling to help the ‘Valerie’ singer with overcoming her alcohol addiction and bulimia when they were living together in Camden, London.
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James said he and Winehouse had an argument just two days before her death, where he left their shared house in the hope that it would shock her into curbing her binge drinking.
The day after she left, she left a message on his phone saying, “You alright, darlin’? T, please come home.”
When he returned to the house, James found an ambulance outside and a paramedic inside the hallway.
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Winehouse was upstairs in her bedroom. She had passed away from alcohol toxicity aged 27.
James, who first met Winehouse when he was 13, told The Times: “I never have had that connection with someone again and I never will. I loved her. I was on a mission. I had a task. I had a job [to make her well] and that’s all I wanted to do.
“I want people to please, please recognize how hard she had worked to come off drugs and just how close she was to [giving up alcohol] for good, how close she was to being healthy,” he said.
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James is currently promoting his new book My Amy: The Life We Shared, which he told This Morning was written as a way to process his grief.
He said Winehouse “was [his] world.” Watch above.
James said that outside the home in the immediate aftermath of her death was like a scene from a movie, with fans and media everywhere mourning.
“Amy was a girl in her twenties suffering from addiction, and everybody was a part of it. Everybody was watching it. When you go to rehab, you have to be the strongest you’ve ever been in your life, when you are the weakest you’ve ever been in your life. And she had to go through that in front of people,” James told The Times.
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“I want people to understand how hard that was for her. I want people to know what it was, to stop seeing her as this doomed person.”
“Amy was my soulmate. We were two halves of the same person. I never envisaged life without her. She was my best friend,” James said to The Times.
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“It was never sexual, but [when she died] it was more like losing my wife, and even more than that, losing my wife to an illness.”
If you or anyone you know needs immediate support, contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or via lifeline.org.au. In an emergency, call 000.