Was Amy Winehouse’s Cell Phone Hacked?
Phone hacking remains a source of intense scandal in the UK right now. With the News of the World shutting down amid its own phone hacking drama, where the voicemails of celebrities and a missing girl who later turned up dead were compromised by the publication, the NME reports that Amy Winehouse's voicemail and her personal medical data were targeted by newspapers. Yikes!
Charles Lavery, a former chief reporter for the Scottish Sunday Mail, posted on his blog that both the phone and medical records of the late Winehouse, who passed away on Saturday at 27, were routinely accessed by tabloids. We'll label that "unethical" with a capital "U." Lavery was ethical, however, refusing to name his sources, which is how any proper journalist should behave.
It wasn't just reporters who were behaving unethically. Lavery wrote, "A lot of the time some people close to her sold the info, but her data was accessed on a routine, wholesale basis. And not just by one newspaper group, by most of them."
Winehouse's extended family was also targeted, including her father Mitch, mother Janis, brother Alex and ex-husband Blake Fielder-Civil. Lavery told NME, "I'd known about the phone-hacking previously, and when I heard the news of her death, I made some calls and confirmed it. Naturally, there's been quite a bit of interest in the story so far."
Lavery also made a rather sweeping statement about hacking and tabloid pressure as a whole, saying, "I've no idea whether the hacking contributed to her death, what I do know is that the girl was under immense pressure from tabloid newspapers for her entire career -- perhaps because she was so talented."
It is true that may celebrities and pop stars cannot handle the glare of the spotlight and fame and they often crack under the pressure, turning to drugs or other means to handle the fame. If Winehouse's phone and medical records were indeed hacked into, it speaks to our society and its unhealthy obsession with celebrity culture more than it does to how she handled, or more accurately, mishandled dealings with fame.
Watch the Amy Winehouse 'Tears Dry on Their Own' Video