Amy Winehouse was mourned by many when she passed away nearly two years ago; the young singer had famously battled drugs and alcohol, and though it wasn’t exactly a secret, fans and family grieved the loss of such a bright talent.
Now, however, her brother Alex says that substance abuse was just one issue his sister dealt with. Since the age of 17, he says, she also suffered from bulimia after discovering it with her friends.
“They’d put loads of rich sauces on their food, scarf it down and throw it up,” Alex recently told the Observer. “They stopped doing it, but Amy never really did…We all knew she was doing it, but it’s almost impossible [to tackle] especially if you’re not talking about it. It’s a real dark, dark issue. She suffered from bulimia very badly. That’s not, like, a revelation—you knew just by looking at her…She would have died eventually, the way she was going, but what really killed her was the bulimia…Absolutely terrible. I think that it left her weaker and more susceptible. Had she not had an eating disorder, she would have been physically stronger.”
Winehouse was scrutinized by the media for her appearance and was once snapped by the paparazzi eating plain lettuce out of a bag while out with her mother, which led to rumors of an eating disorder. Bulimia is an extremely damaging disorder that can lead to problems with the stomach lining and esophagus over time; without proper nutrition, the body is ravaged.
Winehouse’s official cause of death was listed as alcohol poisoning, but many theories have been made as to the actual reason.