Russell Brand, the British comedian and close friend of the late Amy Winehouse, has penned an emotional letter detailing the times he spent with the British singer and criticising the lack of help she received for her addiction. Brand, who has endured drug problems himself, calls Winehouse a "genius" in the tribute piece.
The comedian and actor explained how he'd bump into Winehouse from time-to-time to "chat a bit and have a laugh" but claimed her life was ultimately filled with "half cut, doped up chancers". The 36-year-old, who beat his drug addiction and became one of Britain's most popular entertainers, said he first met Amy whilst out with The Libertines guitarist Carl Barat, saying, ".she was sweet and peculiar but most of all vulnerable". In a touching passage of the letter, Brand describes the singer as, "That twerp, all eyeliner and lager dithering up Chalk Farm Road under a back-combed barnet, the lips that I'd only seen clenching a fishwife fag...". The comedian went on to criticise the lack of government funding for rehabilitation, adding, "Addiction is a serious disease; it will end with jail, mental institutions or death".
Amy Winehouse was discovered dead at her north London home on Saturday (23rd July 2011). The cause of her death is not yet clear, but police say it is not considered suspicious.