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Michael Barrymore: 'I'm an alcoholic but I've never murdered anybody'

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Michael Barrymore has accused the press of ending his television career with a campaign of negative stories.

The entertainer, who has been mired in controversy since the mid-1990s, told The Independent that he came close to killing himself following a series of events - including accusations over the death of Stuart Lubbock in the swimming pool of his home.

Michael Barrymore
Ealing Magistrates court

© PA Images



Giving his first national newspaper interview in ten years, Barrymore admitted that he fuelled stories by his behaviour, including alcoholism and coming out as gay in a London pub at the height of his fame, but said the media had distorted events.

He said: "I never shy away from the fact that I'm an alcoholic and that I have had my problems, but I've never murdered anybody.

"I've never got up in the morning and thought I'll harm someone. I've just had an extraordinary sequence of events that have been on public display, that I've had no control over.

"[The press] killed Michael Barrymore. My [real] name is Michael Parker, but Michael Barrymore is dead. Although I have been a couple of times to the jumping-off point, I didn't kill myself. If I had, it would have completed the story."

Barrymore also suggested that the involvement of Rupert Murdoch's News International in reporting negative stories was an attempt to affect ITV's commercial position against rivals Sky, also owned by Murdoch.

"It smacks me that there was a definite conspiracy to destroy ITV's main brand at the time: 'We want to get rid of anything that works for them'," he claimed.

Following Barrymore's divorce from former wife Cheryl in 1998, the now-defunct News of the World linked him to a serious sexual assault. No arrests were made and in 2000 the newspaper admitted the allegation was "without foundation".

In May 2001, Stuart Lubbock was found dead in the star's mansion swimming pool, which led to accusations of Barrymore's involvement. However, despite accusations from a number of sources, no evidence was found to support the allegations through the course of two police inquiries and an inquest.

This year, Barrymore brought a claim against the News of the World over phone hacking. He has since been awarded "substantial damages".

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