Following a party in the early hours of 31 March 2001, a 31-year-old man, Stuart Lubbock, died at the home of Michael Barrymore.
Barrymore and two witnesses claimed to have found him floating in Barrymore's swimming pool.
Recently, a team of analysts worked through this short interview, which took place years after the event. This form of contamination must be considered throughout.
Can we know what happened, even after the passage of time, from Barrymore's words?
Analysis to follow...
Interviewer (Piers Morgan): Talk me through what happened that night, people were drinking, taking drugs…
Michael Barrymore: They were all having drinks, they said “oh can we go in the jacuzzi?” so I said yeah I gotta put the lights on cos otherwise you won’t see where you’re going and then I went out there and had a joint and as we walked out I looked down and there’s there’s Stuart err floating in the pool and whether he’s floating when you see that, it’s you know, it’s a very surreal thing to see.
PM: And what went through your mind?
MB: (mumbles) went into a bit of a shock… I just went oh Christ and you know he quite obviously wasn’t moving much. The first thing I did when I seen it was run back into the house and get help from Jonathan who I knew had lifeguard errr experience. They come out and started resuscitating him. I ran back... now this is something I want to clear up. I did not flee the house. I did not flee and suggest I was running away. I phoned Mike Brown my PA, my personal assistant and I said there’s been a problem at the house told him what had happened, it’s gonna be surrounded by press. Yes I should have stayed. I should’ve said no I I need to be here but we can all do should’ve’s after the event...and yes I should’ve. I didn’t. An I I wan..I I I’d like to I’d like to if you can bear with me, this is a copy of the letter, this letter, do you mind if I read it?
MB: And this is from the Crown Prosecution Service, I’ve never read this out or brought this out before cos (mumbles) The tenth of September two thousand and seven. There was no evidence upon which to charge any person either for the death of Stuart Lubbock or the injuries he sustained to his rectum. Michael Parker, me, has an alibi from three people in the period immediately prior to the discovery of Stuart in the pool. I therefore conclude that there is insufficient evidence against all three suspects for there to be proceedings concerning the death of Stuart Lubbock or relating to the injury.
PM: The truth about this Michael isn’t it.. Is that we may never know…. the truth.
PM: You were there. What do you take responsibility for?
MB: I was responsible for allowing people to come back to my house and go out to the pool. You would assume they was capable of looking after themselves.
PM: I mean I understand how you feel and the passionate way that you defend yourself..I guess objectively…
MB (interrupts) If I don’t defend myself I’ve got people going round making all sorts of allegations.
PM: I get it but what I would say is this, that you I guess you have to start don’t you? From the position that this young man, this father of two kids…
MB (interrupts) Now hang about I’m gettin to that you haven’t let me finish. That family deserves proper answers okay? No parent should have to bury their young. I had nothing to do with what happened to Stuart. I am innocent. I am not 99.9% in..innocent. I am 100% innocent and I am entitled to walk around with my head held high...for the rest of my life.
PM: But let me ask you this Michael, how do you think Stuart died?
MB: I think he drowned.
PM: There are still some people for whatever reason that don’t believe it. What do you say to them?
MB: I have to go around and live my life if they’ve got anything to say to me they can say it to me personally and I’ll give them an answer personally.
PM: Do you believe there are people out there that know the answer?
BM: But I have to because there’s no answer anywhere else and yet all that’s happened over all these years is that is was convenient, you know an..and some of the journalism you put you showed one of the headlines there...gay orgy. How do you have a gay orgy with four girls and err five blokes three of who are straight ? How do you?
PM: Stuart was found with various drugs in his body and you were asked directly if you had facilitated him taking drugs and you declined to answer. What was the truth about that?
MB: Well I didn’t facilitate doing drugs but errm no I was advised that by my lawyers at the time. You don’t have to answer in a in a coroners court you can just (mumbles) say you know I didn’t.
PM: But again with hindsight do you…
MB: I mean I yeah I guess I to..the.. you can see lots of things in hindsight...I’m not making excuses.
PM: No no but I’m saying the reason…
MB: I fucked up. What more do you want? I fucked up
PM: I get it
MB: I’m sorry.
MB: I couldn’t be more sorry
PM: But Stuart will never get his life back. You will never get the comfort of this being resolved because it’s hard to see how it will be..
MB: And I have to live in hope that it somehow, somewhere, there will be an answer. I hope I hope it’s in whatever’s left in my life.