Well into the media blitz covering a scathing scandal of phone hacking by the now defunct British tabloid News of the World, details regarding a similar breach of Amy Winehouse’s privacy have surfaced following her death. Investigative journalist Charles Lavery has reported to NME that the phone and medical records of Amy Winehouse and other related individuals were routinely hacked by tabloid newspapers.
In a short but exclusive exposé on his website, the former tabloid chief reporter for the Sunday Times weaved an intriguing tale which sought to substantiate the claims of an unidentified source who stated that tabloid newspapers frequently accessed and sold private information regarding the singer for the latest scoop or exclusive on her life.
I’d known about the phone-hacking previously, and when I heard the news of her death, I made some calls and confirmed it, said Lavery speaking to NME.
However Winehouse wasn’t the only victim alleged Lavery’s source; her immediate family along with her ex-husband Blake Fielder-Civil were also targeted by the tabloids.
That information allowed tabloid reporters and more emphatically photographers to be in place for photo opportunities as if by chance. Of the occasions described in the piece were Winehouse’s arrivals and departures from rehab clinics while seeking treatment for substance abuse.
Take a look at the acres of coverage of her getting out of taxicabs and walking into rehab. Or walking out of rehab into cabs, stated Lavery’s source.
The routine access of her medical records may have also led to the wealth of details reported during the singer’s time in treatment believes the source. Regardless of privacy laws in context of medical records, there was always an exclusive breaking story about Winehouse’s next or latest stint at a treatment facility in the tabloids.
How did that happen? Or the details of her time in rehab, her private life, questioned the source.
However, Lavery and the source concluded upon a media culture gone rotten within the tabloid realm rather than one publication gone awry.
Without singling out a publication, and certainly not to fan the inferno engulfing News Corp. and News of the World, the source indicated this practice of privacy invasion as a routine news-gathering method. Though the source did state people close to the singer or informed about such information did sell their knowledge to the tabloids, illegal methods also became common place for discovering the latest splash of scandal in Winehouse’s life.
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…Privacy was the last thing she was going to get, said the source.