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EDITIONS
Monday, 30 September, 2002, 10:56 GMT 11:56 UK
Barrymore: I'm no killer
Michael Barrymore with GMTV's Fiona Phillips
The entertainer spoke to GMTV's Fiona Phillips
Entertainer Michael Barrymore has denied playing any part in the death of the man found floating in a swimming pool at his home.

Mr Barrymore insisted he had co-operated "honestly and truthfully" with the investigation into the death of Stuart Lubbock, but his decision to speak out in a television interview was criticised by Mr Lubbock's family.


We won't take any part in helping to kickstart Barrymore's career

Terry Lubbock
Dead man's father
Earlier this month an open verdict was recorded on the death of the 31-year-old after an impromptu party at Mr Barrymore's Essex home in March last year.

In his first interview since the inquest, the television host defended himself against drug-taking and perjury accusations.

And the 50-year-old star - speaking to GMTV at a hotel in Dubai - said he had new evidence suggesting severe internal injuries found on Mr Lubbock's body were not inflicted while he was at his Essex home.

He also offered to meet Mr Lubbock's family to discuss the case.

Father's hurt

But in an interview with the BBC, Mr Lubbock's father Terry dismissed Mr Barrymore's assertions about the injuries and attacked GMTV for screening the interview.

Insisting the entertainer had needed to "purge his soul", Terry Lubbock said his comments had "hurt".


You can call me a lousy entertainer, but you can't call me a killer

Michael Barrymore
And questioning the motives for interviewing Mr Barrymore, Mr Lubbock said: "What are [GMTV] trying to achieve, they've shot themselves in the foot and they have stabbed the family in the back.

"I think the man is clutching at straws. It hurts. It's not right."

Terry Lubbock said he had declined an invitation to go on the show, adding: "We won't take any part in helping to kickstart Barrymore's career."

No 'killer'

Mr Barrymore told the programme he was "sad and sorry" and wanted to know exactly what had happened.

But he continued: "I know one thing. You can call me a lousy entertainer, but you can't call me a killer.

Michael Barrymore
Barrymore denies giving Mr Lubbock cocaine
"I don't care if you call me that. It doesn't matter. It's anybody's choice and when my time's due, when I meet Stuart again, he knows.

"He knows nothing was done to him. Not at my house. And I know."

Police are currently investigating claims Mr Barrymore lied during the inquest.

He denied being able to swim and denied witness claims he rubbed cocaine into Mr Lubbock's gums at the house party.

Subsequently his ex-wife, Cheryl Barrymore, claimed he could swim and she alleged she had regularly seen him administer drugs to others.

'Prosecution risk'

A post-mortem examination revealed high levels of alcohol and drugs in Mr Lubbock's system and injuries which may have been caused by a serious sexual assault.

Mr Barrymore said in the TV interview that experts at the inquest stated cocaine "played no significant part" in Mr Lubbock's death.

He had not wanted to open himself or others to prosecution by answering questions about drugs.

"And I need to add as well that at no time did I give Stuart Lubbock cocaine.

Stuart Lubbock, 31
Mr Lubbock's family have criticised Barrymore
"I did not rub any cocaine into Stuart's gums."

He insisted he could not swim.

"I don't know why Cheryl's doing this.

"We haven't spoken in five years since the divorce. It ended nastily, unfortunately."

The comic, who said he only ever stood in the pool's shallow end, left it to others to get Mr Lubbock out of the water.

Mr Barrymore also denied Mr Lubbock had been attacked at the party.

He said his solicitors had found a "key witness" who attempted to save Mr Lubbock's life in hospital in Harlow, whose statement was read to the inquest.

He said there were "absolutely no injuries" to his body when he arrived at casualty department.

The entertainer said he would survive the latest setback to his career and "do something".

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 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's Duncan Kennedy
"His first public attempt to clear his name"
See also:

30 Sep 02 | Entertainment
29 Sep 02 | Entertainment
22 Sep 02 | Entertainment
16 Sep 02 | UK
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